UK News Report
Reclusive former Abba star Agnetha Faltskog is launching a comeback.
The blonde singer, now a 62-year-old grandmother, has returned to the recording studio to record an album of new songs for the first time since the 1990s.
But, sadly for Abba fans, she is still rebuffing pleas to sing again with her old bandmates.
She is said to be working with Swedish songwriter Jorgen Elofsson who has previously penned and produced tunes for megastars including Britney Spears, Celine Dion and Irish boy band Westlife.
After ABBA split in the early 1980s, Miss Faltskog pursued a solo career for a few years, but then went into a music hiatus for most of the 1990s.
Her last album, ‘My Colouring Book,’ contained cover songs and was released in 2004.
Miss Faltskog has repeatedly resisted calls for the hugely popular group to reform, even after the success of the film ‘Mamma Mia!’ which was based around their songs.
It’s understood that the other members of one of history’s most successful ever pop groups – Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad – have all pushed at various times to reform for a world tour.
Miss Faltskog was married to Bjorn after first meeting him at a café when she was 19. They wed in 1971 and had two children before they divorced at the height of Abba’s fame.
Abba won Eurovision in 1974 in Brighton. They went on to sell 350 million records, and their greatest hits compilation album, Abba Gold, stayed in the charts for more than 400 weeks.
The success was so extreme that Miss Faltskog still has difficulty believing it. ‘It’s nice to look back on it and sometimes I can’t comprehend it,’ she says.
She has two children and a 12-year-old granddaughter.
In Sweden, the singer is known as ‘Garbo the second’ because she shies away from publicity.
But she insisted in an interview: ‘They spread that I am hiding, that I am the new Greta Garbo. It’s not the way it is. I just want to live in peace and quiet.’
One of the reasons the singer gave for wanting a break from Abba was the rigours of touring around the world, especially after she had children.
‘I sometimes suffered enormously from a bad conscience and longing for my children,’ she said in an interview. ‘There were many mixed feelings and contrasts with Abba. Such as tours when we lived a life of luxury, then came home to washing up and cooking.’
But she insisted the reason she never wanted to get back together with the group had nothing to do with her relationship with her fellow female singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad.
‘We didn’t fight,’ she said. ‘But we have to live a whole lot of such misinterpretations. We supported one another. Say, if one of us had a cold or felt under the weather.’
‘We feel incredibly proud that the music never seems to die. A new generation likes it and that gives you great hope,’ she added after being presented with a lifetime achievement award by a Swedish newspaper.
In recent years, Miss Faltskog has appeared in public with the other three Abba stars at a number of premieres and promotional events for the film ‘Mamma Mia!’ But she still made it clear she had no plans to record with them.
A spokesman for the singer said it wasn’t yet known when the album of new material will be released.