Justine Pelmelay was born as Anneke Pelmelay, the daughter of a mother from Java and a father from Ambon. The stage name Justine is her grandmother’s name.
From the mid-80s Justine has been singing in various Dutch groups, such as the Pasadena Dream Band, Swinging Soul Machine and The Jody Singers. She also provided backing vocals for many artists on their single or albums. Her voice could be heard with Gerard Joling, Jerney Kaagman, G’race, but also with Catapult and Rosa King and the rock band of Bert Heerink. Pelmelay sang in several commercials.
In 1988 she was in the backing for Gerard Joling’s performance at the Eurovision Song Contest. A year later she represented the Netherlands herself at the song festival, with the song “Blijf zoals je bent”. The expectations were high: the day before the Song Contest, she was in joint first place with the bookmakers. However, she only finished fifteenth.
In the 1990s Pelmelay formed the duo Justine & Marlon together with the Dutch-Indonesian television chef Lonny Gerungan. They successfully released three CD albums with Indonesian songs and thus ensured a revival of the Evergreens from our colonial past. The CD albums were all listed in the Album charts. In the years that followed, Pelmelay also released a few singles, including “The Man I Love”, “Hold Me”, “Een vriend laat je niet in de steek” and “Perhaps Love”, a duet with John Denver.
In 2005 Pelmelay made an attempt to go to the Eurovision Song Contest again for the Netherlands. For this she participated in one of the preliminary rounds of the National Song Contest, with the song “What you see is what you get”. That same year she took the place of Sandra Reemer with the Dutch Divas, but stopped in 2006 to continue solo again.
In April 2006 Pelmelay recorded a new solo single titled “Nothing’s Gonna Shut Me Up”. In February and March 2007, Pelmelay was back in the spotlight in the Theater Show “The Soul of Motown”. In 2007 Pelmelay gave a gala on the occasion of the charity ‘Cystic Fybrosis’; she raised 100,000 euros with her campaign and has been ambassador of the NCFS (Dutch Cystic Fibrosis Foundation) since 2008. In 2010 Pelmelay came out with the single “Wereld Zonder Liefde” en “De regen voorbij”. In 2011 Pelmelay came out with a new single “Ik laat je nooit meer gaan”. With this single she can be seen and heard regularly on TV and radio. In 2012, she and her then partner wrote the song “De tijd stond stil” in response to the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia. Justine was on board of the ship when it capsized.
As a result of her life-threatening illness, she also wrote the song “Doe wat je moet doen”.