The winner of the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest, representing her homeland, Serbia, Marija Serifoviæ was born on November 14, 1984, in Kragujevac, in what was then Yugoslavia. She made her debut as a 19-year-old in 2003, performing the song "Gorka Éokolada" (Bitter Chocolate) at the annual Budva Festival. She signed to City Records and her debut album, Naj, Najbolja (The Very Very Best), appeared that same year, spinning off the hit "Znaj Da Znam" (You Should Know That I Know). The following year, having returned to the Budva Festival and emerged triumphant, her winning entry "Bol Do Ludila" (Hurting to Insanity) topped charts throughout the Balkans.
In 2005 Serifoviæ scored another major hit, with a cover of Greek vocalist Despina Vandi's "Olo Lipis" (I Believe It). Her performance of "Ponuda " (Offer) finished a mere 18th at the 2005 Serbia & Montenegro Eurovision qualifying competition, but victory in the Serbian Song Contest with "U Nedelju" paved the way for the release of her second album, Bez Ljubavi (Without Love) in 2006, and Serifoviæ entered 2007 with another major smash, "Bez Tebe" (Without You). March 2007 saw Serifoviæ all but walk the Serbian national Eurovision qualifiers with "Molitva" (Prayer); she was victorious, too, in the event's finals in Helsinki, and quickly recorded foreign-language versions of the winning song for release in the U.K. ("Destiny"), Finland ("Rukoilen"), and Russia ("Molitva").