Latvia has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 14 times, debuting at the 2000 contest, where Brainstorm came 3rd with the song "My Star". The country's first, and so far, only win came in 2002 when Marie N and her song "I Wanna" beat favourite's Malta by 12 points, receiving 176 points. Latvia is the second former USSR country to win the Contest and the third country of eastern Europe after Yugoslavia and Estonia. Because of her win, the 2003 contest was held in the Latvian capital Riga.
Latvia initially planned to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in 2009. Latvijas Televīzija (LTV), the Latvian broadcaster, originally announced its withdrawal from the contest after the Latvian government imposed budget cuts on the broadcaster that hindered it from paying the participation fee. At the time LTV said, however, that they hoped to compete in the 2010 contest.
In the event, Latvia decided to compete, and the EBU confirmed that Latvia would indeed participate in 2009.
NOTE: If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition from 2004-2007, the top ten countries who were not members of the big four did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. If, for example, Germany and France placed inside the top ten, the countries who placed 11th and 12th were advanced to the following year's grand final along with the rest of the top ten countries.