Shocking Blue was founded in 1967 by Robbie van Leeuwen. The group had a minor hit in 1968 with “Lucy Brown is Back in Town”. After Mariska Veres took over the vocals, the group charted a world-wide hit with the song “Venus”, which peaked at No. 3 in the Netherlands in 1969. The song reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in February 1970. It subsequently sold 350,000 copies in Germany, and topped the U.S. chart for three weeks, the first song from the Netherlands to do so. It sold over one million copies there by January 1970, and received a gold record awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America. Global sales exceeded five million copies.