Another band helped by a television reality talent show -- although in this particular case, indirectly -- Stella formed in Joensuu, Finland, in 2002.
The band quickly managed to score a deal with Sony Records and released its first album, Kuuntelija (The Listener), in 2004. Although the album was a modest seller, it didn't move as many units as hoped, and the band moved to the Elements Music label soon after. But, as with most luck in the pop music world, success came out of left field, and when contestant (and not a member of Stella) Katri Ylander covered the band's song "Piste" (Period) on the hit television show Finnish Idols, Stella found themselves a media and commercial hot property, with both the music press and the music-buying public feverishly awaiting the group's sophomore release. That album, Pelkääjän Paikalla (On the Front Seat), was released in 2006, and debuted at number five in their country's album chart. The quintet -- Marja Kiiskilä (vocals), Heikki Marttila (guitar, vocals), Janne Sivonen (guitar, keyboards), Tuomas Tahvanainen (bass), and Matti Virkkunen (drums) -- released its next album, Löytäjä Saa Pitää, in April of 2008. The album continued to build on the group's commercial successes, topping out at number three on the album charts. ~ Chris True, Rovi