To compete in Eurovision twice is common, to compete in Eurovision three times is rarer, to compete in Eurovision three times and sing in two different languages is rarer still (see No. 438; No. 433), but to compete three times and sing in three different languages has been achieved only by Swiss trio Peter, Sue and Marc (who went one better and sang in four different languages), Eríkur Hauksson (see No. 485) and Stella Maessen.
Stella was born in Zandvoort, a small town to the west of Haarlem in Holland. Like Anneke Grönloh (see No. 487) her parents were from the Dutch East Indies (modern day Indonesia), and in 1970, six years after Grönloh’s appearance, Maessen and her elder sisters Bianca and Patricia were chosen to represent The Netherlands at Eurovision. Calling themselves Hearts Of Soul the vocal trio were first up in the 1970 contest with Waterman. Performed in Dutch, it finished 7th in a reduced field of 12.
Seven years later the sisters had relocated to Belgium and had changed their name to Dream Express. Their disco-tinged English-language entry that year, A Million In One Two Three, was a pre-contest favourite but – like Waterman – only finished 7th, although that year there were 18 countries participating.
It was a solo Stella who entered the contest in 1982 for the final time. Once again representing Belgium but this time singing in French she achieved her highest ever placing of 4th with Si Tu Aimes Ma Musique. Although no country awarded it more than 10 points, it was the only song that year to receive points from every jury.