Corry Brokken was the first Dutch winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, winning the event in 1957 with the song “Net als toen” (“Like it used to be”). The melody was composed by Guus Jansen and the lyrics were written by Willy van Hemert. She participated in the 1956 contest (performing eighth out of field of fourteen) singing “Voorgoed voorbij” (“Over for good”), with music and lyrics by Jelle de Vries, and in the 1958 contest (where she tied for last place) singing “Heel de wereld” (“The Whole World”), with music and lyrics by Benny Vreden. John Kennedy O’Connor’s book, The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History, notes that Corry is the only singer ever to have finished both first and last in the contest.
Brokken was one of the most popular women singers of the 1950s and 1960s, performing in the Sleeswijk Revue alongside Snip en Snap and scoring hits, some of which with translated chansons by Charles Aznavour. In 1973, however, she happened upon a book discussing Roman law, and began to get interested in the legal profession. In 1976, Brokken served as the presenter of the contest, and in 1997 she announced the results of the Dutch vote for that year’s contest. By that time she was no longer active as a singer: she ended her musical career in 1976 to study law; she became first an attorney and then a judge in Den Bosch. In the 1990s she returned to show business, performing on stage and recording an album; she also wrote a column for the women’s weekly Margriet. She died in June 2016 at the age of 83.