ABBA – Biography
ABBA was formed by 4 Swedes from Stockholm in 1972. Group members includes Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. If you look at their names, you will realize that the group’s name ABBA was derived from the first letter in the first names of all the four members.
From 1972 to 1982, ABBA was one of the most popular and commercially successful groups in the history of pop music, topping world wide charts. In 1974, they won the Eurovision Song Contest, giving Sweden its first victory in the history of the contest. They became the most successful group ever to have emerged from this contest.
Throughout ABBA’s career, the group sold over 370 million records worldwide and till today, their albums still sell millions a year, making them one of the best-selling music artists of all time.
Coming from a non English country, ABBA was the first pop group that enjoyed consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the UK, Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. They also enjoyed significant success in Latin American markets, and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish.
During the time when they were at their peak, Fältskog and Ulvaeus were married, as were Lyngstad and Andersson. However, both couples later divorced. Maybe due to stress caused by their popularity, both relationships were suffering strain which ultimately resulted in the parting of the Ulvaeus-Fältskog in 1979. The Andersson-Lyngstad marriage also ended in 1981. Due to these changes in their relationship, changes also began appearing in the group’s music. In the later stages, their compositions produced more introspective lyrics.
After the breaking up of ABBA in late 1982, 2 members Andersson and Ulvaeus started successful careers in writing music for the stage. Lyngstad and Fältskog went seperate ways to pursue individual solo careers with mixed success.
ABBA’s music gradually declined in popularity after the breakup. However, fortune shone for the group again when films like Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, revived interest in the group.
In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia!. This musical made a highly successful worldwide tour that led to the production of a film by the same name 2008. The movie became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year.
ABBA was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010, immortalizing them as one of the most successful group of all time.