Switzerland is one of the founding seven nations of the Eurovision Song Contest, having staged and participated in the very first contest in 1956 in Lugano which was won by Lys Assia. The country has participated in every contest except 1995, 1999, 2001 and 2003 (all due to relegation).
After a qualification in 2011, they had not been able to qualify a song for the final until 2014, when Sebalter brought the Swiss their best finish in the final since 2005 and its best ever placing in the semi-finals (4th). They then failed to qualify again from 2015 to 2018, before Luca Hänni equaled the country's best placement in the semifinals in 2019, and giving it its best placing in the grand final since 1993.
Although most of the Swiss representatives are national acts not known outside of the country, many internationally successful artists have represented the country. In 1988, Canadian Celine Dion won the contest for Switzerland, in 1993 Annie Cotton (also Canadian) finished third, and in 2005 the Estonian girl band Vanilla Ninja finished 8th in both the semi and the final. Esther Ofarim's 1963 second-place finish helped establish her as an international success.