Agnetha Faltskog – Wiki, ABBA Story, Relationships, Photos

Agnetha Fältskog

Agnetha Åse Fältskog,, one of the most beautiful women in the world and the voice and beauty of ABBA has a really moving story, that spells success and sadness in equal measure.  Since ABBA broke up as a band in 1982, it has been 30 years and it still feels the same. Even at 62,  Agnetha looks beautiful, having aged gracefully, the wrinkles and age-lines a telling story of success and seclusion.

Agnetha was born on April 5 1950, in Jönköping, Småland, Sweden.  Her parents had two daughter s and she was the eldest one.  Agnetha’s father Knut Ingvar Fältskog (1922—1995) was a department store manager while her mother Birgit Margareta Johansson (1923—1994) was a housewife.  Little Agnetha’s father was quite interested in music and movies.

Fältskog penned her first song at the age of six, called “Två små troll” (“Two Little Trolls”). When she was 8, she took piano lessons and began to sing in a local church choir. By the time, she was in her early teens, Agnetha had formed a musical trio called The Cambers, which included her friends Lena Johansson and Elisabeth Strub. They sang at small events but due to lack of opportunities coming their way regularly, the group broke up and Agnetha decided to focus on studies.  At the age of 15, she left school and decided to support her family by working.

Agnetha worked as a telephonist for an automobile company while she was a part of a local band, headed by Bernt Enghardt.  The group soon became popular and the girl wondered if she should work or focus on her musical career. She was a part of the band for two years and in that time, Agnetha broke up with her first boyfriend Björn Lilja; which inspired her to write a song “Jag var så kär that would give her recognition.

One of the band members in the Bernt Enghardt group had an influential relative called Karl Gerhard Lundkvist who retired from an accomplished rock and roll career and set on to become a record producer at Cupol Records. Enghardt sent a demo recording of the band but what caught the record producer’s fancy was the beautiful voice of Agnetha Fältskog.  He sent her an offer; the girl was in two minds again. On one hand, she was sad that the band was not given prominence while on the other hand; she had a window of opportunity ready to open for her. Agnetha accepted the offer and signed a recording contract with CBS Records.

Agnetha’s song “Jag var så kär” which she wrote herself found a good release from Cupol Records in 1967 and went on to become the Swedish Chart Topper on January 28 1968 and sold more than 80,000 copies.  Agnetha submitted another song  “Försonade” to Melodifestivalen, the Swedish entry to the Eurovision Song Contest but that did not make it to the finals. She came up with another single “Zigenarvän” about a young girl who attends a Gypsy wedding and falls in love with the brother of the bride.  The release was timed with the controversy of gypsies in the Swedish media and Agnetha was blamed for using the situation to make money.

Fältskog met German producer and songwriter Dieter Zimmerman and fell in love with him. They were engaged and Agnetha’s albums reached Germany. Her fiancé said that he would ensure that she becomes quite popular in Germany. But when she saw the kind of material to be produced, Agnetha was dismayed, she said that material was ‘horrible’. The engagement was over and Agnetha returned to Sweden.

In 1970, Agnetha released “Om tårar vore guld”, her most successful song before ABBA was formed. The song also turned controversial when a Danish composer alleged that she has ripped off his composition ‘Tema’. But it was also found that the song was written in the 50s and never recorded. Neverthless, Agnetha reached a settlement with him and paid the composer Dane SEK5,000.  Agnetha also went on to play the role of Mary Magdalene in the Swedish version of the international musical Jesus Christ Superstar in 1972.

In the year 1968, Agnetha met Björn Ulvaeus for the first time in 1968, when he was a part of the Hootenanny Singers. Their relationship bloomed and so did her friendship with Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson. Angetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus married on July 6 1971. They had their first child Linda Elin Ulvaeus on February 23, 1973 for whom she dedicated a beautiful song ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ which is still considered one of the most touching songs from a mother to a daughter. Agnetha gave birth to son Peter Christian Ulvaeus on December 4, 1978.  In January 1979, the couple filed for divorce which was finalized in June 1980. Agnetha and Björn ensured that the friction between them would not affect their music and they continued to create great music for ABBA.  However, the songs took on a poignant note with Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson also going through a rough patch and songs like “The Winner Takes It All” was a tribute to heart-breaks.

Agnetha Fältskog has sung solo numbers for ABBA like “Hasta Mañana”,”Take A Chance On Me”, Disillusion” (music written by her, lyrics by Björn), Dance (While The Music Still Goes On), My Love, My Life”,”Kisses Of Fire”, “The Winner Takes It All”, Happy New Year, “The Way Old Friends Do”, “SOS”, “I’ve Been Waiting for You”, “When I Kissed the Teacher”, “”The Name Of The Game”,”I Am Just A Girl”,  , “Move On”, “Thank You For The Music”, “Chiquitita”, “As Good As New”,”Just Like That, “Under Attack”, The Day Before You Came”, “, “Head Over Heels”, “One Of Us and “Slipping Through My Fingers”,

Post ABBA breakup, Agnetha Fältskog went on to cut solo albums like Wrap Your Arms Around Me, which did moderate business in Australia and North America but topped the charts in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway.  In 1988, Agnetha released ‘I Stand Alone’, an album did moderate business in Europe but was a chart topper in Sweden. After this album, she went on to hiatus and completely withdrew from public limelight.

When Mamma Mia ! opened in Stockholm in 2005, Agnetha walked alone in the theater and did not interact with her ABBA friends and bandmates.  Her spokesman Steffan Linde said, “They did nnot socialize with each other. They just happened to come to the same premiere.”

Agnetha Fältskog has become so reclusive that she told an interview that she does not have many friends, does not go out and spends time talking to her horses.  When the term Greta  Garbo the Second was coined for Agnetha, she appeared perturbed, “ ‘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.’”

Why is the shy Agnetha Fältskog so angry with ABBA band-mates? It turns out that she was emotionally disturbed with the split with Bjorn in 1979. The divorce happened at the peak of ABBA’s success and while Bjorn got a new girlfriend, Agnetha was shattered and needed counseling. She sang the song ‘ The Winner Takes it All’ with a lot of heartache and the line ‘Tell me does she kiss/Like I used to kiss you?’ was a product of immense emotional strength for her.  With the divorce of Benny and Anni-Frid in 1981, there was no point being ABBA.

Agnetha Fältskog has had a fear of flying since the time her private jet was caught in a storm, which is why for the last 20 years she has not flown. She is known to feel nervous when her family is flying. She also has phobia of crowds which is why she is known to have terrible dreams of them pouncing upon her.  She is not known to be at ease conversing socially and the fact that her English was not too good also acted as barrier.   Agnetha was not the best of friends with Anni-Frida and sources say that there was tension and jealousy between them.

It has been 38 years since ABBA won Eurovision in 1974 and their greatest hits compilation ABBA Gold has stayed in the charts for an impressive 400 weeks. Agnetha Fältskog’s networth is only£4million compared to Bjorn and Benny who are worth more than £100 million thanks to royalities and Mamma Mia !

Success came in such a grand scale that Agnetha found it difficult to come to terms with it. As she says, . ‘It’s nice to look back on it and sometimes I can’t comprehend it. It feels like another life.’

After her breakup with Bjorn, Agnetha had many lovers including psychiatrist Hakan Lonnback, who had tried to salvage her marriage.  She even had an affair with a Stockolm detective Thorbjorn Brander who was asked to be on the case after there were kidnap threats for her children. In 1990, 40 year old Agnetha married divorced surgeon Tomas Sonnefield.  The marriage actually was secret and became public when it broke up three years later.  By this time, Agnetha has to cope with the suicide of her mother Birgit who jumped off a sixth floor flat.  A year later, her dad passed away and Agnetha suddenly found herself quite lonely.  Though her biography says that her mother died in an accident, sources close to her insist that she committed suicide. Nevertheless, the turn of events made her a recluse.

A  Dutch forklift truck driver Gert van der Graaf who was an ABBA fan stalked her for more than two years.    This overweight man rankled her no end but soon she was drawn towards him in spite of complaining about him to the police. In 1997, they had a steamy relationship and Agnetha invited him to live-in with her.   Agnetha said, “’It was a very intense attention from him and after a while I felt I could not resist any more. I wanted to know him.”  Two years later, they split up but van der Graaf continued stalking her. The court issued a restraining order to him and he was arrested in 2003 and finally banned from entry into Sweden.In 2005, the deportation order expired and soon enough, Van de Graaf was signed near Agnetha’s Ekerö estate.

Post her relationship with the stalker, Agnetha moved deeper into foliage and built a smaller home with a private courtyard garden.  Neighbors say that she hardly talks to them and keeps to herself but does acknowledge them with a smile.  Only in 2004, Agnetha came out with album called ‘My Coloring Bbook’ which ran for 25 weeks in Sweden and the woman was back in her private oblivion.

In 2005, Agnetha who had a close friend in Bertil Nordstrom, a close friend of King Gustaf of Sweden, began reciprocating to his advances.   Bestil even bought a £300,000 for Agnetha, a seaside resort to take her away from her solitary confinement but the woman still likes her private life.

Reminiscing about ABBA, she says, “. ‘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.’ She insists that the fact that she didn’t want to get back with ABBA had nothing to do with the fellow female singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad or other band mates.

‘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.

Agnetha says, “When I was 15 I became a full-time singer in a band. At 18 I made my first record. When I was 25, Abba was formed. After Abba I made three solo albums. Maybe I have been productive enough.”She adds that she still plays the piano at her home on the Swedish island of Helgö. “I would like to sing the theme tune of a big film – something like Titanic,” she adds.

Agnetha Faltskog  Pictures – Now and Then

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