The successful Swedish family company ABBA has been through turbulent times. Their lives and the lives of their children were threatened. All of them are now under strict protection around the clock. And Anni-Frid and Benny have separated, totally unexpected. Only the business interests seem to keep the four grown apart ABBA-members together.
The news about ABBA’s life that reaches the media is most probably only a tip of the iceberg. The fact that the whole thing hasn’t gone to pieces already, is largely thanks to Stig Anderson, the group’s manager. Now that the women, Agnetha and Anni-Frid, are not able to fall back on their male partners any longer, they find comfort with him.
At the time, Stig saw to it that the controversial divorce between Agnetha and Björn was announced at the right time. And that it didn’t lead to the break up of the group. After a lot of talking, the ex-partners were even able to complete a world tour successfully. An incredible achievement, considering the tensions. Björn has a new wife, Lena. Agnetha will continue on her own and has stated: “There’s no such thing as a happy divorce.” ‘The Winner Takes It All’ was a heartbreaking testimony of that.
Six months ago, ABBA’s mental resilience was once again tested to its limits. While filming a television show in Munich, they received the (umpteenth?) phone call that their children were going to be kidnapped. The quartet flew back to Stockholm head over heels and lived in fear for a considerable amount of time. The assassination of their colleague John Lennon underlined how real the danger is.
To let their nerves calm down a bit, manager Anderson decided not to plan any new activities for the group. Björn and Benny worked on a new album, Anni-Frid took some classes in French language and Agnetha devoted her time to a non-smoking campaign. But like a thunderstruck in a clear sky, Anni-Frid and Benny recently announced that they were putting an end to their marriage as well. Shortly after that, Benny introduced his new, ten years younger girlfriend. And Stig was back to his headaches. The question is whether ABBA still exists. The members only see each other in the studio during recording sessions. They are only linked to each other on a business level. On the other hand, the four of them might be able to distance themselves from the emotional side and continue working as musicians. We hope so, for the fans. And for racing driver Jan Lammers as well, because since recently, ABBA is his sponsor. More about that soon in our pop journal.