Born and raised in Lisbon, she has been very successful in her home country of Portugal. She has long competed in the Portuguese national pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. She first participated in 1992, making it to the national final. With the song “Meu amor inventado em mim” she reached second place. She finally sang in the Eurovision Song Contest 2003, in Riga, Latvia, where she finished 22nd with 13 points.
Rita Guerra is the owner of one of the most beautiful voices and one of the most stable careers in the Portuguese music scene. Since 1989, Rita is a regular feature on the shows of Casino do Estoril. She set foot for the first time on the casino’s stage side by side Adamo, a well known French singer. “Pormenores sem a minima importância” was her debut album, featuring Rui Veloso, a famous rock singer and composer, and the group Taxi. “Independence Day” was her second album, a CD released in 1995 sang only in English. Approaching ethnic music in the album “Da Gama”, Rita Guerra got the help of maestro Pedro Osório and Paulo de Carvalho, Portuguese representative at ESC 1974. In 2000, Rita and Beto, one of the backing singers in Riga, released an album called “Desencontros”. One of the duets “Brincando com o fogo” is considered by many one of the most beautiful and recognizable songs of the Portuguese music history.
The stage has been Rita’s second home for many years. She has been participating in some of the most prestigious shows presented in Portugal. It was the case of “Canções do Século”, that was on the road from 1993 to 1998. The show run through some of the most well known songs of Portuguese music history. Along side Helena Vieira and Lena D’Água, the show was a hit. 1999 saw Rita Guerra, Helena Viera and Beto perform on the show «POPera», where some of the most famous opera arias were arranged and performed with a modern and contemporary touch. At the moment, Rita performs daily at Casino do Estoril in its latest production “Fruta Cores”.
Rita has also regularly worked in the Portuguese soundtrack of animated films such as “Hercules”, “Lion King”, “Prince of Egypt”, “Little Mermaid” and others. In 2003, Rita Guerra was invited by RTP to represent Portugal at the Eurovision Songcontest in Riga. Three songs were in contest, and the winner was “Deixa-me sonhar (só mais uma vez) ”. Rita also participated in 1992, on the Portuguese national selection, with the song “Meu amor inventado em mim”, where se came 2nd. In the meantime, Rita got married to the lyricist and composer of the song, Paulo Martins. He was also responsible for the production of her latest album called “Rita”, released on 20 June 2005.
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Eurovision Song Contest 2003 - Riga
Entry for Portugal
Performer: Rita Guerra
Song title: Deixa-me Sonhar
Song writer(s): Paulo Martins
Song composer(s): Paulo Martins
Sang in Position: 7
Final Position: 22
Total Points: 13
In 2003, another country entered the song contest: for the first time, the Ukraine participated and sent one of their biggest stars: Olexandr Ponomariov. In total, 26 countries took part in the Eurovision Song Contest in the Latvian capital of Riga which would mark a new Eurovision record. The famous Russian duo, t.A.T.u., decided to enter the contest and kept both the organisation and the press busy during the rehearsal week by not caring about rehearsal schedules and boycotting press conferences. Eventually, the alleged lesbian duo finished third after Turkey and Belgium.
Turkey won the contest for the first time after an exciting voting. The winner was not obvious before the last country, Slovenia, had delivered their votes which would give the victory to Sertab Erener, one of the biggest stars in Turkey. Sertab had studied at Turkish conservatoriums and had previously released lots of award-winning albums and had recorded duets with the likes of Ricky Martin and José Carreras. Her song Every Way That I Can was a combination of oriental melodies and pop and was specially re-mixed for the Eurovision Song Contest to make it more appealing to televoters.
The United Kingdom entry Cry Baby performed by the duo Jemini came in at a disappointing last place, scoring no points at all. The group claimed that there had been severe problems with the monitor speakers and that this was the reason why they performed so badly. It was the first time ever that an entry from the United Kingdom got the dreaded nil points. The Belgian song Sanomi by Urban Trad was one of the most interesting songs in recent Eurovision Song Contest history as it was sung in a made-up language. No-one had expected them to score that well though ending up in surprising second place.