Formed of two married couples, Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, were catapulted to worldwide success after winning Eurovision with Waterloo at the Brighton Dome in 1974.
The band became one of the most popular musical artists in history, having sold hundreds of millions of albums worldwide since their formation in 1972.
They chose their name from the initials of their first names.
In 1982, the group announced they were on a “break” following the demise of both marriages. But they did not officially announce a split.
While songwriters Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus continued to work together including creating the musical, “Chess,” with lyricist Tim Rice in 1984, the four did not appear together publicly onstage again until 2016.
The musical Mamma Mia!, based on ABBA songs, premiered in London in 1999 and became a worldwide hit, having been seen by more than 60 million people.
The movie version, starring Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Julie Walters and Pierce Brosnan, opened in 2008 and was attended, in Stockholm, by all four ABBA stars.
It has since grossed £450million globally.
ABBA FACTS – DID YOU KNOW?
• They formed after meeting on a bus on the way to a party
• The outlandish outfits were a tax dodge. Under Swedish law at the time clothes were tax deductible if proved they weren’t used for daily wear
• Anni-Frid was Norwegian and her father was a German officer in World War II. An unconfirmed story emerged that her mother was involved in a project to “breed” Nordic women to SS supermen
• The group shares it name with a Swedish canned herring company formed in 1838 and originally more famous than them
• Over 3.5 million people applied for tickets to their 1977 London tour dates at the Royal Albert Hall
• Their Australian 1976 TV special got better ratings than the moon landing. ABBA’s massive cultural legacy in Australia is reflected in the 1994 worldwide global smash film Muriel’s Wedding about a shy superfan
• ABBA: Gold is the second best selling album ever in the UK. Bigger than Adele’s 21 and the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper, it is surpassed in sales only by Queen’s Greatest Hits