Monday, 9 June 2008

Joepie, 1981: From careless teenage-singer to tried superstar

The fourth and final part of the 1981 Joepie-series: Agnetha.
It hasn’t been easy for blonde Anna, since her divorce from Björn, at the end of 1978. For months she led a lonely life with her children. Curious journalists would never leave her alone. Her short-lived romances with ice-hockey player Lars Eriksson and Dick Hakansson made headlines all over the world. But this time it seems she has finally found true love, in the shape of police-detective Torbjörn Brander.
Agneta Fältskog was born April the 5th 1950 in Jonköping. Her father Ingvar wrote sketches for the local theatre-company, that had a spectacular performance in the village every year at Christmas. Mother Birgit liked to sing, and often too. But she never performed in front of an audience. It’s clear little Anna was raised in a creative family. She was barely six years old, when she performed for the first time in her father’s Christmas-show. She had a part in the well-known play 'Billy Boys'. A performance, that’s still remembered today in Jonköping. Not particularly because of Anna’s outstanding voice, but more because of the little incident during the second chorus: the suspenders of her pantsuit broke, and...
This painful incident didn’t prevent Anna from pursuing her artistic ambitions. Already a few months later she learned how to play the piano. First on the piano of her neighbour, until she got one of her own on her seventh birthday.
Her singing career took off when she was fifteen years old: she joined Bernt Enghardts’ dance-band. In the daytime she worked as a telephonist at a car-firm, in the evening she performed with the band. In the end, it turned out to be impossible to combine both activities, and she didn’t hesitate to decide she would become a professional singer. A year later the band sent a tape to Little Gerhard, a popular singer as well as a successful producer at the time in Sweden. According to Gerhard that tape wasn’t too overwhelming. But Anna’s voice was. So was the melody, written by Anna herself. Anna was invited to Stockholm, to try out some recordings, and she subsequently recorded two singles. 'I’m so in love' was the title of the first record. On January the 28th 1968, a date obviously fondly remembered by Anna, the song entered the Swedish charts at number three. Three more hits, written by the blonde singer herself, followed. After only one year, she had become one of Sweden’s most popular singers. That’s when the Swedish media started to take an interest in her. At the end of 1968 the headlines read that she had gotten engaged with German producer Dieter Zimmerman.
Anna moved to Germany with Dieter, where she would live for the next six months. She released a few singles in German, but the expected success didn’t come. Shortly after, the engagement was called off, and Anna returned to Sweden. In no-time, she was a star again in her own country. In the summer of 1969 she performed on a big TV-show, for which the Hootenanny Singers were the headliners. With Björn, one of the Singers, it was love at first sight. In April 1970, they got engaged, on a holiday to Zypern. A year later, in July 1971, they got married.

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