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AGNETHA FALTSKOG

BIOGRAPHY
 
Agnetha Faltskog

A Swedish pop singer-songwriter and record producer, most notable for having been a member of the popular Swedish pop group ABBA.

In 1958, at the age of eight, Fältskog started taking piano lessons, which continued until 1964, when she was 14. She also sang in the church chour.

In the early 1960s, Fältskog formed a trio, The Cambers, with two female friends. The trio performed in minor venues and soon dissolved because of a lack of engagements.

In 1966, at the age of 16, when she was working as a switchboard operator in a car dealership, Fältskog started performing with Bernt Enghardt's Orchestra, which toured on weekends, since all the members had day jobs. Eventually Fältskog had to quit her job, however, because of overwork.

In 1968, she released her first album. Also in 1968 she submitted the song "Försonade" to Melodifestivalen, the Swedish heats of the Eurovision Song Contest. However it was not selected for the final.

Fältskog married Björn Ulvaeus; the marriage resulted in two children.

The couple decided to separate in late 1978, and Fältskog moved out of their home on Christmas night, 25 December 1978.

In January 1979, the couple filed for divorce, which was finalised in June 1980. Both Fältskog and Ulvaeus agreed not to let their failed marriage interfere with their responsibilities with ABBA.

In 1972, Fältskog starred as Mary Magdalene in the original Swedish production of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar, providing vocals for its original Swedish cast recording. Her relationship with Björn Ulvaeus, as well as her friendship with Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson, eventually led into the formation of ABBA.

In 1975, during the same period as her bandmate Anni-Frid Lyngstad recorded her Swedish number one album Frida ensam, Fältskog recorded and produced her solo album Elva kvinnor i ett hus. These albums were both recorded between sessions and promotion for the ABBA albums Waterloo and ABBA.

Fältskog is also the only member of ABBA to have participated in Melodifestivalen again after having won Eurovision with "Waterloo" in 1974 - albeit only as a composer.

In the 1980s, Fältskog released three English-language solo albums. The records did well in Europe and Scandinavia.

At the end of 1982, she duetted with Swedish singer (and former ABBA backing vocalist) Tomas Ledin on a song called "Never Again", which became a Top Five hit in Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and South America.

In May 1983, Fältskog released her first post-ABBA solo album, Wrap Your Arms Around Me. The album became a moderate hit in North America and Australia, and reached the higher regions of the charts across Europe, including No. 1 in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium and Denmark (where it became the biggest-selling album of the year), and No.18 in the UK.

Fältskog was voted by the readers of Aftonbladet as "Best Female Artist Of The Year," and received the Music Award Price Rockbjörnen.

In 1986, Fältskog recorded another duet, "The Way You Are," with Swedish singer Ola Håkansson, which became another No. 1 hit in Sweden. In mid-1987,

Fältskog travelled to Malibu, California, to record the album I Stand Alone, produced by Peter Cetera and Bruce Gaitsch (fresh off Madonna's La Isla Bonita collaboration).

After the release of I Stand Alone in mid-1988 Fältskog took a break from her musical career and completely withdrew from public life.

In 1996, her autobiography Som jag är was published in Swedish (in English the following year as As I Am), followed by several compilation CDs of her Swedish and English recordings. Hardcore fans welcomed the autobiography, but critics panned it.

In April 2004, Fältskog released a new single, "If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind" (a cover of the song originally recorded by Cilla Black).

In 2004, Fältskog was nominated for Best Nordic Artist at the Nordic Music Awards, and at Christmas of that year (for the first time in almost 20 years), she gave an extensive interview which was filmed by Swedish TV.

In January 2007, Fältskog appeared at the final performance of Mamma Mia! in Stockholm (as she had at its opening in 2005). Together with ex-husband and former colleague Björn, she appeared on stage at the after show party held at Stockholm's Grand Hotel.

On 4 July 2008 Fältskog joined former colleagues Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson at the Swedish premiere of the film version of Mamma Mia!, held at the Rival Theatre (owned by Andersson) in Mariatorget, Stockholm.

 
 
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