Swedish supergroup ABBA rose to international fame in the 1970s with the hits “Dancing Queen” and “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”
ABBA members Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad enjoyed tremendous success for a decade before the group broke up in 1982.
In 2016, ABBA announced plans to reunite as virtual avatars for a live “entertainment experience”. Two years later, the band revealed that they had also recorded new music. In a joint statement, they explained: “The decision to go ahead with the exciting ABBA avatar tour project had unexpected consequences. The four of us thought it might be fun to join forces again after some 35 years and get down to recording in the studio. So we they did. And it was as if time stood still and we were only away for a short vacation.”
The quartet released their ninth and final studio album, TravelNovember 2021. The following May, however, all four members of ABBA attended the premiere of their virtual concert series in London.
“When we got back together in the studio, I had no idea what to expect,” Fältskog said in a statement. “But Benny’s recording studio is such a friendly and safe environment, and before I knew it, I was really enjoying myself! I can’t believe the moment has finally come to share this with the world!”
Bandmate Lyngstad added: “Those first shows of 2018 were so much fun and when Benny called me and asked if I’d consider doing some more singing, I jumped right in! And what songs! My respect and love goes out to these extremely talented, truly genius songwriters! It was such a pleasure to work with the group again. I’m so happy with what we’ve done and I really hope our fans feel the same way.”
ABBA’s comeback album Travel since then, he has earned four Grammy nominations.
Here’s a look into the lives of ABBA members then and now.
ABBA’s lead vocalist Agnetha Fältskog was known for her interest in music as a child, writing her first song at the age of 6, according to ABBA’s official website. Her first single, written as part of the Bernt Enghardts, was released in 1967.
Fältskog began dating ABBA bandmate Björn Ulvaeus in 1969, and the couple got engaged the following year. They married on July 6, 1971, and welcomed two children together, a daughter, Linda Elin Ulvaeus, and a son, Peter Christian Ulvaeus, before divorcing in 1980.
Following her divorce from Ulvaeus and the subsequent breakup of ABBA, Fältskog released three English-language albums: Wrap your arms around me in 1983, Eyes of a woman in 1985 and I stand alone in 1987.
She married her second husband, Thoms Sonnenfield, in 1990, though the couple quietly separated in 1993. More than a decade later, Fältskog returned to the spotlight when she signed a solo record deal in 2004.
Björn Ulvaeus was born in Gothenburg, Sweden and grew up in the small town of Västervik. Like other ABBA members, Ulvaeus was interested in music from an early age. He started his career in the Swedish folk band Hootenanny Singers, which is how he met keyboardist Benny Andersson, a member of the band Hep Stars. The two began working together, eventually working together and forming ABBA with their fiancees.
Ulvaeus married co-star Agnetha Fältskog in 1971 and they had two children together. After the separation, Ulvaeus married his second wife Lena Källersjö in 1981 and had two more children.
He and Andersson worked together long after ABBA broke up in the early 1980s. The duo wrote the musical Chess with lyricist Tim Rice, with a show that opened in London’s West End in 1986 and premiered on Broadway two years later.
According to ABBA’s official website, Ulvaeus also participated in the performance Mamma Miaa musical — and later a film series — based on songs by ABBA.
In 2022, The Daily Mail reported that Ulvaeus and his wife of more than 40 years, Källersjö, had announced their intention to divorce.
That July he came to the premiere of his new musical, Pippi in the circus, hand in hand with Christina Sas, music manager for Universal Music Group. In December 2022, the couple attended the premiere of the film in Stockholm A man named Ottoa movie starring Tom Hanks.
Stockholm-born ABBA singer Benny Andersson was introduced to music as a child, as both his father and grandfather played the accordion and taught him the instrument.
Andersson was part of several bands before forming ABBA. He started his career in the group of singer Christina Grönvall. (They eventually started dating and had two children together.) He then joined Elverkets Spelmanslag before becoming the Hep Stars keyboardist.
While with Hep Stars, Andersson first met Ulvaeus and the pair wrote “Isn’t It Easy To Say” for the group. They recorded their first album, Lycka, in 1970, on which their girlfriends Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad sang backing vocals. Andersson and Lyngstad were engaged for almost nine years before marrying in 1979, but divorced two years later.
Andersson continued making music after ABBA went on hiatus in 1982, producing with Anders and Karin Glenmark, and his first solo album was released in 1987. He currently performs with Benny Andersson’s Orkester.
Anni-Frid Lyngstad was born in Norway in 1945 and almost two years later moved to Sweden with her grandmother. According to ABBA’s official website, Lyngstad’s father was a German soldier and was “thought to have disappeared when his ship was sunk on the way back to Germany”, although they were later reunited in the 1970s. Her mother died less than two years after her birth.
As a teenager, Lyngstad performed with various groups. She married her first husband, Ragnar Fredriksson, when she was 18 and had two children, although the couple divorced before ABBA’s rise to fame.
She met her second husband and ABBA bandmate Benny Andersson in 1969 and they quickly became engaged. Lyngstad also released a Swedish-language solo album in 1975 when he was part of ABBA. She was already working on solo work before ABBA went on hiatus in 1982 and released her first English-language solo album, produced by Phil Collins, that same year.
Lyngstad was married to her third husband, Prince Henrich Ruzzo Reuss, Count of Plauen, from 1992 until his death in 1999. Her daughter had died in a car accident the year before.
Today, Lyngstad is “devoting himself to charity work,” according to ABBA’s official website.