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First ever Eurovision contestant Jetty Paerl passes away

27 August 2013 at 19:48 CEST

After a long career with its heyday in the 1950s and 60s, Dutch singer Jetty Paerl sadly passed away in Amstelveen on Thursday the 22nd of August.

She was born in Amsterdam in 1921 and spent a number of her formidable years living in London, broadcasting on Radio Oranje, a Dutch radio station in exile during World War II. It was then she became lovingly known as Jetje van Radio Oranje.

In 1956 she went on to make history as she was drawn as the first performer of the first ever Eurovision Song Contest with the song De Vogels van Holland (The Birds of Holland) representing the Netherlands.

The first edition of Europe's favourite TV show was unique in that each country entered two songs, the other Dutch entry that year being Voorgoed Voorbij by Corry Brokken. As only the winner was announced (Lys Assia), no other results are known.

Our condolences go to Jetty's family and friends.