Abba star Anni-Frid Lyngstad turns 75 – and enjoys Switzerland

They anchored Sweden on the world map of pop (from left): Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson.

The four ABBA members met for the first time around 50 years ago. The beginning of a world career.

One band, one look: Abba have always presented themselves in a way that is camera-friendly.

Abba hits are one of those songs that many music fans can agree on.

Abba only existed as a band for ten years. The excellent reputation still lingers.

They anchored Sweden on the world map of pop (from left): Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson.

The four ABBA members met for the first time around 50 years ago. The beginning of a world career.

One band, one look: Abba have always presented themselves in a way that is camera-friendly.

Abba hits are one of those songs that many music fans can agree on.

Abba only existed as a band for ten years. The excellent reputation still lingers.

Abba has been history for 38 years, but the hits of the Swedish pop band are still catchy tunes today – also thanks to the haunted voices of the two front women. One of them turns 75 today.

“My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender!”: When two young Swedes shouted these words at the audience of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, an international music career of unimagined proportions was about to begin.

Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog not only secured the first ESC victory for the music nation Sweden together with their future husbands Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. It’s the beginning of a decade of Abba mania – with one pop world hit after another. Always in the thick of it: Anni-Frid Lyngstad, just called Frida by everyone. The singer will be 75 years old on Sunday (November 15th).

From Zermatt to Lake Geneva

Today Anni-Frid Lyngstad lives far away from the busy music business in Switzerland. She stayed there even after the death of her third husband. For Frida, who is very close to nature and who has long taken care of the environment, Switzerland is exactly the right place. “I was born in the mountains too,” she said in 2014 on the Scandinavian program “Skavlan”. “It’s like coming full circle. I am back to the nature in which I was once born. I like it fantastic in the mountains. ” She has now moved from Zermatt, where she lived for a long time, to Lake Geneva.

Almost half a century has passed since the historic ESC appearance in Brighton, England. But even 38 years after its actual end in 1982, Abba remains one of the most successful groups in music history, with an estimated more than 380 million records sold, its own museum, musical and much more. Otherwise only the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Metallica play in their league.

Early stroke of fate

Nobody could have predicted that Anni-Frid Lyngstad would play in this league – but that she would end up in music. When asked when she started to sing, she always had a certain answer ready, the Abba Museum in Stockholm tells us: never – after all, she always sang. “I still sing – at home,” she revealed in one of her rare interviews in 2014.

Anni-Frid Lyngstad’s not always easy life began on November 15, 1945 in a mining settlement near the city of Narvik in northern Norway. Because her father was a German Wehrmacht soldier, she is considered a “Tyskerbarn”, a German child, as the children of the occupation were called back then. Her mother Synni Lyngstad was only 19 years old when Frida was born and died of kidney failure in 1947.

ARCHIVE - Anni-Frid Lyngstad from the Swedish pop group Abba, at a concert of the band in the Deutschlandhalle as part of their Germany tour. Photo: picture alliance / dpa
Anni-Frid Lyngstad celebrated worldwide success with the Swedish pop group Abba: Today she lives in seclusion on Lake Geneva.

picture alliance / dpa

After 32 years: reunion with the father

As a little girl, she moved to Torshälla in Sweden with her grandmother, where she also received Swedish citizenship as a teenager. At that time she believed of her German father Alfred Haase that he was dead – until 1977: At that time, her Abba prominence meant that she could be brought together with him by the “Bravo”.



“His name is Haase, he didn’t know anything,” headlined the popular German youth magazine at the time. There is no lasting contact. “It would have been different if I had been a child. But it is difficult to have a father when you are 32 years old, ”she once said.

By then Frida has long been world famous, tours the globe with Abba and delivers one hit song after the other. “SOS”, “Mamma Mia”, “Fernando”, “Dancing Queen”: what Abba touches turns into gold. Millions of people all over the world fall into Abba hysteria and want to see Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Frida in their flashy outfits. Countless men adore the blonde Agnetha and the brunette Frida when they stand on stage together and bob to the beat.

Retired privacy

1982 is (for the time being) the end of it. Abba announced a “break” for the band, which continues to this day – fans have been waiting in vain for the new songs “I Still Have Faith In You” and “Don’t Shut Me Down”, which were announced in 2018. This does not mean that Frida’s mezzo-soprano voice has fallen silent since the end of the great Abba period: She released three more solo albums – two in English, one in Swedish – and recorded duets with Phil Collins and Roxette front woman Marie Fredriksson, among others on. In 2018 she was last heard in Spanish at the side of the trumpeter Arturo Sandoval in the old Abba hit “Andante, Andante”.

Lyngstad’s life story also includes many strokes of fate, including not only the separation from Benny Andersson in 1981 three years after their wedding. One of the two children from her first marriage to the Swedish musician Rasmus Fredriksson, her daughter Ann Lise-Lotte, died in a car accident at 31. In 1999 her third husband, the German Heinrich Ruzzo Prince Reuss von Plauen, died of cancer.

Since 2008 she has been with the aristocratic British Henry Smith. The couple lives very secluded and enjoys their private life, as the celebrity portal «Promipool» reports. The former Abba manager Görel Hanser reveals only this much at the request of the German press agency: Anni-Frid Lyngstad is doing well.

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