Perhaps best known for representing Finland in the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest, Laura Voutilainen (better known as Laura) was a chart-topping iskelmä (Finnish pop) musician in her homeland throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Born in Jyvaskyla in 1975, Laura began her musical training in kindergarten and had her own band, Kevytlinja, by the time she turned 15. Her first single, "Muuttanut Oot Maailmain" (You Changed My World), came out in 1993, and was quickly followed up by "Kerran" (Once). The latter track shot to the top of the Finnish charts, paving the way for the release of her Emma Award-winning self-titled debut the following year. Laura's sophomore album, Kaksi Karttaa (Two Maps), hit stores two years later, reaching gold status in her home country in only three days' time and eventually earning Laura her second Emma Award. After a whirlwind year of touring and recording, she released her first Christmas album, Lumikuningatar (Snow Queen), and played the part of Meg in the Finnish overdub of Disney's Hercules. In 1999 Laura released her fourth album, Etelan Yossa (In the Southern Night) and starred in her own television show, Laura Wou!!