NEWS AND INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ABBA
In 1974 the Swedish band wins the Eurovision Song Contest, and becomes a legend. But did you know that it all started on a small country road, that Abba were formed by two married couples, and that ... the band never broke up?
It was April 6, 1974 in Brighton (UK) and the British were in a cold sweat; on the stage at the 19th Eurovision Song Contest, Olivia Newton-John was holding high the Union Jack flag singing “Long Live Love” and seemed to have the victory in her hands. Then came those four Swedes that no one had ever seen. Jackets with platinized lapels, silver boots and a long gipsy-style skirt, the Vikings attacked with a disco-pop song, “Waterloo”, which made the hall go down in a frenzy and conquered the festival. And this was just a beginning.
After more than 40 years to celebrate the Swedish most loved band in the world, we offer you some interesting facts that perhaps no one has ever told.
1 The Abba havent made records since 1982, but officially they never broke up.
2 As mentioned Abba is the acronym of the four band members: Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Anni-Frid (Frida) but to use it, the group had to ask a permission from Abba, the most famous Swedish herring brand.
3 Agnetha and Björn were married, as well as Benny and Frida, but they divorced in 1979 and 1981 respectively.
4 Since their debut, the Abba have sold over 380 million discs.
5 “The winner takes it all” was written by Björn after his painful divorce from Agnetha.
6 Frida Lyngstad is the only non-Swedish in the band: born in Bjørkåsen, Norway.
7 Agnetha reached number one on the Swedish chart at the age of 17 with “Jag var så Kär”.
8 The international ABBA singing competition in Stockholm on 6 April 2016 was won by Grace McCallum, 21, a fan from Tasmania (Australia).
9 The first performance (improvised) of Abba took place in 1970 on a beach in Cyprus, in front of some UN soldiers.
10 The 1979 Boston concert was canceled due to a panic attack of Agnetha: their flight from New York suddenly lost altitude.
11 Benny and Björn, the original heart of the group, met at the crossroads of a country road on their way to play with their band from that time.
12 The single “Waterloo”, with which Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest, reached the top of the chart in Sweden, Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, South Africa and Belgium, and was one the top 10 hits in the US.
13 On 18 June 1976, the night before the wedding of King Carl Gustaf of Sweden, the band sang Dancing Queen in front of the future Queen Silvia.
14 In 1977, to book the tickets to the concert of Abba at the Royal Albert Hall in London, there was needed a request by mail. For 5272 free places Abba recieved 3.5 million requests.
15 The band has donated the copyrights of the song Chiquitita to Unicef.
16 On the top of their career, Abba earned more than Volvo, the biggest industry in Sweden.
17 Frida thought that his father was killed in the war. She discovered that he was still alive when she was 30 years old, thanks to an article in the German press.
18 In 1978, for the Russia tour, ABBA was paid in barrels of oil, because of the embargo on the ruble.
19 The first title of Mamma Mia was Summer night city. "But the song is about a mother and Italian is more beautiful," says Björn.
20 Benny, the excellent pianist, is self-taught.
21 They are the only group to have a name that is a Palindrome (ABBA) and receive top ratings with a son (SOS) which is also a Palindrome.
22 A re-launch of their songs, years after the success, happened thanks to the film “Muriel's Wedding”, starring Toni Collette.
23 The first ISWC (International Standard Musical Work Code) in history was assigned in 1995 to Dancing Queen: it is T-000000001-0.
24 The song Fernando is dedicated to a fictional fighter of the Mexican Revolution.
25 Frida lost her daughter Lise-Lotte, 30, in a car accident in 1997 and her husband Heinrich Ruzzo for lymphoma in 1998.
26 The eldest son of Benny, Peter, was born when he was only 16 years old. Frida's son, Hans, was born when she was 17.
27 The first video of the band was directed by Lasse Hallström, director of Chocolat (2000).
28 When Abba sang for the last time together in January 1986 in the Swedish television, they had not seen each other for two years.
29 In 1988, Agnetha stepped away from the public eye but still continuing to sing: now living secluded on the Swedish island in Ekerö.
30 At the U2 concert in Stockholm, in 1992, Bono sang Dancing Queen with Björn on guitar and Benny on the piano.
31 Classical music honored Abba: in 1995 the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London recorded all of their top hits (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays ABBA).
32 The real name of Benny is Göran Bror.
33 When Meryl Streep went to Stockholm to record “The winner takes it all” for the film “Mamma Mia” under the supervision of Benny, her first performance was the final one. Benny called Meryl "a miracle". On the Swedish movie premier Abba was shown together in public. It was the first time for 22 years.
34 After marrying the German Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss in 1992, Frida became Princess of Plauen.
35 Kylie Minogue sang Dancing Queen at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
36 Mamma Mia - The Movie is the most successful musical film in history: it grossed 400 million euros.
37 The first solo album of Frida recorded in 1982 “Something's Going On” was produced by Phil Collins.
38 In year 2003, Agnetha was a victim of a stalking case: a Dutch fan Gert van der Graaf lived in a hunting house near her villa, surrounded by pictures of her and turtle skeletons.
39 Frida lost her mother Synni, 21 years of age, when she was nine. She was raised by her grandmother.
40 Björn soffers of a partial memory loss: he doesn't remember intire months of his past life.
41 Benny is the owner of the boutique hotel Rival in Stockholm. In every room there are a CD player and high-tech stereos.
42 Today Frida lives in a castle in Zermett (Switzerland) with her noble husband English Henry Smith, visconte of Hambleden.
43 According to Björn, the only right inheritor of Abba is Lady Gaga.