Saturday, 6 April 2013
Privé, April 2013: Comeback for ABBA's Agnetha!
To the joy of her fans Agnetha Fältskog has given up her solitary life for a comeback in the music business. In 2004, the blonde ABBA singer already took up her old profession once again with the album 'My Colouring Book', but now she is trying to score another hit, together with the twenty year younger Take That star Gary Barlow, with the duet 'I Should Have Followed You Home'. It's clear that the Swedish blonde takes her comeback very seriously this time, because she has asked Britney Spears' composer to write a couple of songs for her album (that will be released later this year), in the hopes of dusting off her image.
"I am always described as a mysterious woman, while I'm not mysterious at all." Agnetha's new musical adventure started two years ago when Swedish record producer Jörgen Elofsson was standing on her doorstep to present three songs to her. For the hit producer, who once wrote Britney Spears' 'Crazy', it was a lifelong dream to bring Agnetha back into the spotlights. The singer was honoured. "I thought all his songs were great, so I simply couldn't say no."
But before they actually started recording, Agnetha had one condition. "It was almost ten years ago since I had last sung and I didn't know if my voice was still there. So I told him right away that I wouldn't go through with the project if my voice sounded old."
The singer knows very well that her image took a severe blow after her relationship with the sixteen year younger Dutchman who had fallen in love with her as an eight year old. The man moved to Sweden for her where he bought a house close to Agnetha's home on the island Ekerö near Stockholm. They started a relationship that Agnetha broke off two years later. But the man kept seeking contact, he even attempted to break into her house, after which the singer contacted the police and her ex was eventually evicted from the country.
Her relationship with this disturbed man only confirmed the impression that many people had of Agnetha, the impression of a lonely and unhappy woman, although she firmly denied this herself.
After the ABBA members had gone their separate ways in 1982, Agnetha was the only one to practically disappear from the face of the earth. She tried to build a solo career for a while and even scored a modest hit with 'The Heat Is On', but after that she disappeared from view. But she cherishes the memories and recently she donated her clothes and other stuff to the ABBA museum that will open its doors in Sweden next month. "It is weird, but also an enormous honour when a museum is created in honour of your work. But it doesn't mean a reunion of the band."
Anni-Frid Lyngstad lives in Switzerland these days, where she is leading her life as Countess of Plauen, after her marriage to Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss of Plauen. The 67-year-old only does charity work these days, often together with her close friend Queen Sylvia of Sweden. Björn Ulvaeus (67) and Benny Andersson (66), ABBA's musical masterminds, are still working together. They compose, write and produce. Apart from that, Benny has his own band called Benny Andersson Orkester and he is the owner of the exclusive Rival Hotel in Stockholm. Björn has become a media tycoon with numerous successful enterprises. Together with Benny he has made many millions by their cooperation with Hollywood producers for the screening of their musical Mamma Mia! ABBA has sold more than 380 million records worldwide and their music is still among the most popular on download sites such as iTunes and Spotify.
"It's all so long ago," says Agnetha. "We all have our own lives now." She is concentrating completely on her comeback and her new album now. Her last album, she assumes. "You have to be realistic, another album in the future is hard to imagine, but I am open to everything."