The history of the Malta Song Festival dates back to 1960. Malta has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1971. At first the island state sent songs in its native language, Maltese, but it failed to rank highly, and withdrew after the 1975 contest. Since its return in 1991, however, it has achieved eight top ten placings in a row, including second place finishes in 2002 and 2005. In recent years, however, Malta's fortunes in the Contest have changed, coming last in the 2006 contest and failing to qualify for the 2007, 2008 and 2010 finals. In 2011 they also didn't qualify to the final being placed 11th, only one point behind Switzerland.
Despite its mixed fortunes, Malta is the most successful country never to have won the contest, having come 2nd twice (2002 and 2005) and 3rd twice (1992 and 1998) with singers including Chiara and Ira Losco.
Chiara has represented Malta the most number of times. Her first participation came in 1998, performing "The One That I Love", which came third. She returned to Eurovision in 2005, performing her self-written song "Angel", giving her second place after Greece's Elena Paparizou. She returned to Eurovision once again in 2009 with "What If We", composed by Belgian songwriters Marc Paelinck and Gregory Bilsen, which placed only 22nd, with 31 points received.Fabrizio Faniello is the only other artist to represent Malta multiple times at Eurovision, having come ninth in 2001 with "Another Summer Night", as well as coming last in 2006 with "I Do". 2013's song is the best placed result for Malta since 2005.
Together with France, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, Malta is one of the few countries that has not missed a contest since 1991. Malta generally uses its other official language English, in which the songs are performed. As from 1991, Malta returned to the contest after an absence of 16 years.
NOTE: If a country had won the previous year, they did not have to compete in the semi-finals the following year. In addition, back in 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.