Jetty Paerl, the first ever Dutch Eurovision contestant, has passed away aged 92.
Jetty first rose to fame in her native Netherlands during World War II, when she performed on “Radio Oranje”, which was broadcast from London due to the Nazi occupation. However, she is best known for her participation in the inaugural Eurovision Song Contest in 1956. Not only was she the first Dutch representative, she was also the first ever artist to take to the Eurovision stage. She sang “De Vogels Van Holland” (The Birds of Holland) but lost out to Lys Assia of Switzerland. Her exact placing in the final is unknown, as at that time only the winner was announced.
After the contest she enjoyed varying degrees of success as both an actress and singer.
Following the announcement of her death on Thursday (22 August 2013), Lys Assia released the following statement via Facebook:
I am very sad to hear about Jetty Paerl’s passing. She was a great artist. We started our carriers (sic) at the same time. She represented The Netherlands at the first Eurovision, where I won. May God bless Jetty, her family, friends and fans.