ABBA star Björn Ulvaeus, 76, has announced that he is separating from wife Lena after 41 years of marriage.
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ABBA star Björn Ulvaeus and his wife Lena have split after 41 years of marriage.
The couple, who married in 1981 and have two children together, announced their divorce but “remain good friends”.
“After many good and tumultuous years, we have decided to divorce,” the couple said in a joint statement.
“We remain close and good friends and will continue to celebrate our grandchildren’s birthdays and other family celebrations together.”
The couple began dating shortly after Björn broke up with Agnetha Fältkog, whom he married in 1971 before the band became famous.
When the marriage ended, Agnetha was said to need counseling. She has struggled with life at ABBA, often spending time away from her two young children, Linda and Peter, while the band flies around the world on their grueling touring schedule.
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Their divorce and breakup inspired some of their most soul-searching lyrics, as they continued to record music.
Happy New Year, from the 1980 album Super Trouper, is set at the end of a party where “the dreams we’ve had before are dead / like confetti on the floor”. On The Winner Takes It All, Björn wrote, “But tell me does she kiss / Like I used to kiss you? / Does it feel the same / When she calls your name?”
Bjorn and Lena met at a New Year’s party at the house of ABBA friends Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
Björn previously said of Lena: “We really fell in love like lightning. “So weird that you’re single for a week and then fall right back in there.”
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Benny and Anni-Frid broke up in 1981. The band broke up the following year.
Benny later remarried and had two children, and released two folk music albums.
Anni-Frid married German Prince Ruzzo Reuss von Plauen in 1992, who had just died aged 49 in 1999. They lived in his castle in Switzerland.
ABBA formed in Stockholm in 1972 before winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with their song Waterloo.
Last year, they wowed music fans around the world after announcing their first dramatic comeback with new music in 39 years.
The group – who have vowed never to reform despite selling more than 400 million albums – also revealed a series of “digital” dates.
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A purpose-built gymnasium on London’s Olympic Park will be the site for a four-year residence.
The band will perform as “ABBA-tars” in the most advanced technology ever used in live music.
They teamed up with Star Wars George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic, a motion effects company, to capture their movements and stage presence.
The group also released a new album with two new songs I Still Have Faith in You and Don’t Shut Me Down as singles.
It was the band’s first new track in decades, the group split in 1982 and featured songs including Dancing Queen, The Winner Takes It All and Take a Chance on Me.
Their last recording session, also in 1982, produced the hits Under Attack and The Day Before You Came, on the compilation album The Singles.
Their last public performance came three years later, on the Swedish version of the TV show This Is Your Life, in honor of their manager Stig Anderson.
The reunion has been on the cards for a number of years with them inundated with proposals for reform in the past. The most profitable was £600 million to do a 100-day world tour in 2000, but they turned it down.
Speaking of past reunion offers – including an offer of £600m – Björn, said: “It was the budget of a small country so we had to rethink it.
“In the end, we decided that, whatever offers were on the table, it would be foolish to get back together and utterly ridiculous to change the image people around the world have of them. I.”
Benny has previously said: “We needed a good reason to reform and I didn’t see one. We can never recreate the old days. I want to be remembered the way we were 30 years ago.”
The group performed together for the first time in decades in 2016 at a private event, marking the 50th anniversary of the first meeting between musicians Bjorn and Benny.
And that event seemed to be the catalyst for a complete reunion that included new music.
The Swedish quartet announced in 2018 that they were planning to record new songs, and last year confirmed that they have more songs in stock than originally planned.
However, the plans were delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic
Bjorn previously said the idea of a hologram was proposed to the band by Simon Fuller, manager of the Spice Girls.
He said, “He went to Stockholm and he presented this idea to us that we could make digital copies of ourselves that are identical to ourselves at a certain age, and those clones later. can go on tour and they can sing our songs, you know, and lip-sync. . I’ve seen this project halfway through and it’s already blown me away. “
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/breaking-abba-star-bjrn-ulvaeus-26304242 ABBA star Björn Ulvaeus announces separation from wife Lena after 41 years