Sahlene's fortunes changed in 2002 when she was enlisted at the last moment to return to the Eurovision song contest, this time as an entrant herself. The Estonian singer Ines had dropped out at the last moment, so Sahlene, despite not being Estonian, was called to represent the country with Ines' song "Runaway." Her energetic performance was highly regarded as one of the standouts of the night, and she finished in third place. "Runaway" went on to become a big hit, in Sweden and across Europe. The following year she competed in the Swedish Eurovision heats with "We're Unbreakable," another upbeat pop song with a similar structure to "Runaway." She did not qualify for the finals, but the song was a hit and she finally released her debut album, aptly titled It's Been a While. The album included "Runaway," "We're Unbreakable," and her early hits "The Little Voice" and "House." In addition to success in Europe, the album was a surprise hit in Japan, thanks to heavy airplay for "We're Unbreakable."
In 2005 Photograph was released, sporting a more soulful, piano-based sound. Lead single "The Creeps" saw Anna back in the Swedish charts, and "Photograph" was another modest international success. In 2006 Sahlene competed once again in Melodifestivalen, with the disco-tinged "This Woman." Once again she failed to qualify for the grand finals, but "This Woman" still became her highest-charting Swedish release to date. After a busy 2006 that also included competing on the hugely popular Swedish TV show Let's Dance, Sahlene took much of the next year out of the spotlight to raise her first child, Lily. ~ John Lucas, Rovi