Over the last weeks, we at Eurovision Ireland have been taking a look at the fortunes of the acts and hosts who have participated in Eurovision over the years . Was appearing at Eurovision as a participant or host the making of them…..or did it break them?
Today we have decided to take a trip to the Baltics to look at the fortunes of someone who took part for Latvia in the contest in the early 2000’s as both a performer and winner of the contest and also as a host.
Life Before Eurovision
Marie N is actually her stage name, her real name is Maria Naumova. She was born in Latvia in 1973. Marie N started her career in music after being discovered by a famous Latvian musician, Raimonds Pauls in 1994. Her musical talents range from jazz , pop, music and theatre, she is also able to sing in many other languages , including Latvian, French, English, Russian and Portugese. In 2002 . Marie N performed on stage with many Latvian musicians and she became more known when one of the concerts was produced on a CD. She was then invited to perform in music events, shows and interviews for Latvian Newspapers.
Marie N tried to represent Latvia when they made their debut in the contest in 2000, with the song “For you my Friends”but was beaten in the National final but lost out to Brainstorm who went on to become the first ever Latvian entry to the contest with ” My Star “.
She then tried again in 2001, with the song ” Hey boy Follow me ” but again lost out to Arnis Mednis with ” Too Much” , despite winning the public vote but failing with the expert jury.
Marie N was determined not to give up on her dream of representing Latvia and she finally won the Latvian National final and the right to represent Latvia in 2002 with a song she wrote and produced herself called “I wanna”. Incidentally Latvia should not have been at the contest that year as under the old relegation rule that existed then , the country had been relegated following a poor result in 2001 when Arnis Mednis could only reach 18th place with 16 points in the contest in Copenhagen, Denmark but gained a reprieve when Portugal opted out of the contest in 2002.
Following a few tweaks to the performance and song, Marie N went to Tallinn , Estonia in 2002 and took a surprise victory , narrowly beating Malta , with a latin/ cabaret style performance with Marie N starting dressed as a man and with gradual stripping of clothing and slick choreography to reveal a full length red dress.
Life after Eurovision
Not content to just be a performer at Eurovision, Marie N was invited back the following year to host the 2003 contest in Riga , Latvia , together with Renars Kaupers, who participated with his group, Brainstorm, for Latvia in 2000.
Following her appearance as a host, Marie N appeared in the Latvian version of the Sound of Music . She has released several albums and toured Latvia . She also achieved a law degree in 2005 and in the same year was chosen as the UNICEF Goodwill envoy to the people of Latvia.
These days Marie N is taking more time to spend with her family , they live in France but still return to Latvia to spend time with family there . Below is a performance from her in 2016
Keep looking in on our EurovisionIreland page where we will be bringing you more about the Eurovision performers and hosts of days gone by !
Author : Sarah Rudman
Sources : LTV , You Tube, Eurovision.TV , Wikipedia.