For four decades, ABBA fans waited in vain for the unlikely event that the classic disco band might get back together. The famous band’s original line-up consisted of two couples, and their subsequent breakups made it seem like a reunion was an impossibility. However, the band has recently gotten back together with the announcement of a new studio album, to be released in 2021. As one might imagine, this comeback comes along with the resurfacing of some painful emotions amongst the band’s four members. Join Facts Verse as we explore painful details behind the ABBA comeback.
ABBA is a band consisting of Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn, Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and Benny Andersson. The band shot to international fame after winning the popular Eurovision contest during their early days. From there, they became one of the biggest acts of their time, with several major hits that included “Dancing Queen” and “Waterloo”.
Though the band was active for around a decade, they eventually called it quits. The band had come onto the scene in 1972, and decided to call it a day by 1982. The main reason for the band splitting up was negative emotions amongst the members. Similar to Fleetwood Mac, failed romances plagued the band’s memorable line-up.
The four members of ABBA were made up of two married couples. Those couples were Agnetha and Bjorn, as well as Anni-Frid and Benny. By the time of the band’s breakup, both couples had broken up, as well. Those breakups were not entirely amicable, and led to some incredibly sour feelings amongst the band members. These sour feelings made it so that the event of an ABBA reunion seemed like a near impossibility. However, it now appears as if the four ABBA members have set the past aside once and for all!
After ABBA broke up, it seemed like the two men had a bit easier of a time in their careers than their respective ex-spouses. This further increased the emotional division between the four band members. The two men were Benny and Bjorn, and it was their names that were the ones featured in the writing credits for ABBA’s most famous hit songs. This not only meant that the two have stood to gain the most from profits after ABBA’s breakup, but it also meant that they have had an easier time securing other jobs in the music industry.
After ABBA’s breakup, Benny and Bjorn wrote a couple of hit plays. In addition the smash Broadway hit Chess, they also wrote Mamma Mia! Of course, Mamma Mia! is the hit musical made up of songs from ABBA’s classic catalogue. The play was a major success, and was adapted into a Hollywood movie featuring none other than Meryl Streep. The Hollywood movie was even given a sequel, and both of these Hollywood features provided plenty of money to Benny and Bjorn.
Over the years, Benny and Bjorn are said to have made hundreds of millions of dollars. Since they were the sole songwriters credited with ABBA’s biggest successes, and since they had divorced their wives by the time of the band’s acrimonious split, the two female members of ABBA are worth a good deal less; another huge part of what has led to the incredibly negative feelings amongst the four members.
Besides being the ones that benefited the most from ABBA’s popularity after it’s breakup, Benny and Bjorn have also been the ones that have had the most other successes outside of the band. Both launched modestly successful solo careers after ABBA came to it’s end in 1982, and both also worked together to pen hits for a British band by the name of Steps.
Bjorn was married to Agnetha, and the two had two children together before breaking up. Sadly, neither of these children, nor their successful musical career together in ABBA, were enough to keep the couple together. After the breakup, Bjorn moved on and found another girlfriend within a week. Meanwhile, Agnetha found herself having to take counseling in order to move on from the event. Sadly, it seems as if Agnetha was much more negatively affected by the breakup than Bjorn was, leading to even more acrimonious feelings.
Nowadays, Bjorn is married to a music journalist by the name of Lena Kallersjo. The two married shortly after ABBA’s breakup, and Lena gave Bjorn two more children. In addition to not wanting to be around her ex-husband, Agnetha also felt bad that ABBA’s touring schedule prevented her from spending time with her and Bjorn’s two children. Agnetha and Bjorn’s children are named Linda and Peter, and another reason that ABBA broke up was so that Agnetha could spend more time with them. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! As well, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
In addition to experiencing bitter feelings amongst her members and wanting to be with her two children, Agnetha was also said to have suffered from stage fright. Agnetha was apparently never quite comfortable with the fame that she had gotten when she was working with ABBA, and this is perhaps another reason why the woman wasn’t quite so keen on continuing her work with her bandmates. After ABBA broke up, Agnetha retreated to her home country of Sweden and took up living in a little cottage in the forest. Although she hasn’t led the successful life of her ex-husband, one can imagine that she has led a slightly more peaceful one.
Like her ex-husband, Agnetha remarried after ABBA broke up. She got married to a doctor by the name of Tomas Sonnenfield, although the marriage only lasted for a brief period of about three years. Besides her marriage to Tomas, Agnetha has said that she has lived a fairly reclusive life in the years since ABBA’s separation. Although this has mainly been by the former star’s own volition, she has also come to regret some of the lonely times she has spent in isolation. Perhaps this is one of the things that help convinced Agnetha to finally hang up her grudge and reunite on stage with her former ex-husband after all these decades.
Due to her reclusive lifestyle, Agnetha has rarely been seen in public since ABBA’s acrimonious split. In 2008, she attended the premiere of the Hollywood film adaptation of Mamma Mia!, having a notable picture taken alongside former bandmate Anni-Frid and the film’s star, Meryl Streep. Unsurprisingly, the photos from that night didn’t include any that featured all four of the former ABBA band members together. However, it was one small step on the way towards the band members eventually reconciling.
Besides the aforementioned incidents, Agnetha has also suffered several other setbacks in her post-ABBA life. In 1994, Agnetha’s mother committed suicide. A year later, her father passed away, perhaps from grief. An even more serious incident came when a man that Agnetha had been dating for two years decided to start stalking her. This man was truck driver Gert van der Graaf. The man had apparently been obsessed with the singer since he was a small child, and couldn’t handle when she tried to breakup with him.
Agnetha has had a lot of trouble dealing with Gert over the years. Initially, she was able to get him deported back to his home country of Holland after the issues first started becoming apparent to her. However, he was back in Sweden within three years and started his harassment back up the same as before. Agnetha was forced to take her stalker to court for a second time, and the harassment finally abated.
The other couple that made up ABBA was Benny and Anni-Frid. Benny and Anni-Frid separated just two years after their fellow bandmates. Anni-Frid was married prior to Benny, and had a daughter from the previous marriage. Sadly, that daughter passed away in 1998, at the age of only 30 years old. Anni-Frid’s daughter’s name was Ann Lise-Lotte.
After divorcing form Benny, Anni-Frid married for a third time. Anni-Frid’s third marriage was to a man by the name of Heinrich Ruzzo. While Heinrich isn’t a celebrity figure that many outside of Sweden will recognize by name, he was a notable Prince of House of Reuss, as well as a close and personal friend of the Queen of Sweden. Tragically, Heinrich passed away in 1999 after a undergoing a long battle with lymphoma. Nowadays, Anni-Frid lives in London with a British boyfriend by the name of Henry Smith.
Anni-Frid released some solo material after ABBA’s breakup, but it wasn’t quite as successful as the solo material of her former male bandmates. For years, journalists hounded ABBA’s four former members about when, if ever, the band was going to get back together. Finally, in 2016, they made their first appearance together in nearly four decades.
ABBA first reunited during a party that was intended to mark the 50th anniversary of Benny and Bjorn’s friendship. The original ABBA lineup took to the stage to perform the song “Me and I” in front of a small and close-knit audience. Many believed that this was simply a one-off thing that was meant more for friends and family than for fans. However, a few years later, the band announced their official reunion.
In 2018, ABBA announced that they were working on a new studio album. The studio album that the classic disco group has been working on is going to be released later this year, in 2021. Recently, even more music has come out from the upcoming album, which is titled Voyage. ABBA has even found themselves back on the music charts with their latest single, making it seem as if almost no time has passed.
Despite the acrimonious feelings that have existed over the decades amongst ABBA’s four members, many fans are incredibly excited for ABBA’s new studio album and a chance to see the band’s classic line-up live. Comment down below to share if you’re excited for the band’s new album, or if you think you’ll be buying a ticket to their reunion tour. As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!