When did ABBA win Eurovision? How old the members are now, when did they break up - and new music explained

After winning the Eurovision Song Contest with Waterloo , the group found themselves skyrocketed into fame

ABBA fans rejoice - the legendary pop group have now released their first new studio album in nearly four decades - and tickets for their high tech virtual concert as well.

This is everything you need to know.

When did ABBA win Eurovision?

In the spring of 1972, the group - which at this point was called Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid - recorded a song called People Need Love.

People Need Love was a medium sized hit in Sweden, and encouraged by the success of the song, they decided to enter into the 1973 Melodifestivalen, which is the Swedish selection for the Eurovision Song Contest.

They used the song Ring Ring and ended up finishing third - however, the single and the album of the same name went on to become the biggest hits of the year in Sweden. Ring Ring also became a hit across several other European countries.

In 1974, the band set their sights on the Melodifestivalen once again, but this time under the name ABBA. The band name is actually an acronym of the first names of the members.

ABBA entered Melodifestivalen with the song Waterloo, which took them all the way to the Eurovision finals in Brighton.

On 6 April 1974, ABBA claimed the Eurovision crown after winning over the international juries.

Soon after, Waterloo hit number one on the charts all over Europe - and even breaking into the top ten in the US. In 2005, Waterloo was chosen as the best song to have been performed at Eurovision, as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the competition.

When and why did the band break up?

ABBA was made up of two married couples, Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad.

As the group gained international success, it wasn’t without putting strain on their relationships.

In 1978, Fältskog and Ulvaeus announced that they would be getting divorced, and while that didn’t mean the end of ABBA at the time, it did change the image of the band, which had been that of two happy couples making music together.

A few years later in 1981 Andersson and Lyngstad also divorced, but even with the two couples broken up, they continued to work as a foursome.

The official ABBA site says that throughout the course of 1982 “the energy was gradually running out of the group”. Ulvaeus and Andersson were focusing their energies on writing a musical called Chess, and Fältskog and Lyngstad were both reviving their solo careers.

An ABBA LP was released in 1982, but it was a compilation double album of their biggest hits and only included two new songs.

At the end of 1982, the band decided to take a break, reasoning that they could always get back together if they wanted to.

How old are the members now?

This is how old the ABBA members are now:

  • Fältskog, born on 5 April 1950, is 71-years-old
  • Ulvaeus, born on 25 April 1945, is 76-years-old
  • Andersson, born on 16 December 1946, is 74-years-old
  • Lyngstad, born on 15 November 1945, is 75-years-old

What is Voyage?

For the first time in nearly 40 years, ABBA have released a new album and a “revolutionary” digital concert taking place in 2022.

Both projects, the album and the digital concert, are titled ABBA Voyage. The album features entirely new material from the group and the concert will digitally showcase younger versions of the band performing songs from their back catalogue.

The so-called “ABBA-tars” were created through months of motion capture and performance techniques.

Abba have announced plans for a new album and virtual concert (Photo: Abba)

The ABBA Voyage site says: “Join us for a concert 40 years in the making. A concert that combines the old and new, the young and not-so-young. A concert that has brought all four of us together again.

“ABBA Voyage is the long-awaited concert from one of the biggest pop acts of all time. See ABBA’s avatars accompanied by a 10-piece live band, in a custom-built arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.”

Concert tickets went live at 10am on Tuesday 7 September. You can get tickets from Ticketmaster.

Speaking about the song I Still Have Faith in You, Ulvaeus said: “It is about realising it is inconceivable to be where we are. No imagination can dream up that.

“To release an album after 40 years and still be the best of friends and enjoying each other’s company and still have total loyalty. Who has experienced that? Nobody.”

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