Frida Lyngstad – ABBA and Her Music Career

Anni Frid Lyngstad ABBA (2)

Frida Lyngstad has said numerous times that she owes a lot in her life to her grandmother Arntine Lyngstad  (Agny) who would sing many songs to her, especially old Norwegian songs.  The girl began to shine as a musical talent at an early age, in the first years of her school.  Her teacher would ask her every Friday to sing in front of the class and she became known in the school and in her neighborhood as the girl with a beautiful voice.

Frida says that though her grandmother encouraged her to sing, she never attended any of her performance. In fact, she died shortly before ABBA was formed and failed to see the success of her granddaughter.  When she was 13, she got her first job as a schlager singer with Evald Eks Orchestra in 1958.  She would perform every weekend to a dancing audience the numbers were popular numbers of those times.  To fine-tune her voice further, Frida took u singing lessons and in 1963, she formed her own band, Anni-Frid Four.

On September 26, 1967, Frida won the Swedish National Talent competition called ‘New Faces’ produced by record company EMI at Stockholm.  She had sung the song En Ledig Dag” (“A Day Off”). As a part of the first prize, Frida got a recording contract with EMI Sweden, she was also asked to sing in the nation’s most popular TV show, Hylands Hörna. On that day, Sweden had changed driving on the left side of the road to the right side. So, driving and travelling was of that day and many people sat home to watch Frida singing the winning song live.

Her first live performance on TV  created a sensation and she was flooded with offers from record companies and music producers. EMI offered her a new recording contract for her to sign, lest they lose their budding singer to other recording companies.  On January 29, 1968, Frida sang the song again on national TV;  here she briefly met her future ABBA member Agnetha Fältskog, who also performed her first single in the same program.  Frida began to tour I 1968 and recorded many singles for EMI.

In 1969, FridaA participated in Melodifestivalen and finished fourth for the song Härlig är vår jord” (“Our Earth Is Wonderful”). There, she met her future husband Benny Andersson, who also took part inthe contest as composer. They met again for another event and became friends and later, couple.

Andersson produced Frida’s first album called ‘Frida’ which was released in 1971, her singing met with praise from the media and the critics.  She scored her first Swedish No.1 hit”Min Egen Stad” (“My Own Town”). The other three future members of ABBA also provided backup vocals on this song.  Frida continued singing on her tours, cabarets, radio and TV   Her relationship with Benny mushroomed and there was new-found friendship with Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog leading to the formation of ABBA in 1972. Frida left EMI and moved to Polar Music Label where she recorded the single “Man vill ju leva lite dessemellan” (“One wants to live a little in between”), which became her second number 1 on the Swedish music charts.

As she was involved in ABBA, Frida also cut her next Swedish album Frida ensam (Frida Alone), which had the Swedish version of the immensely popular ABBA track ‘’Fernando’.  The album was a huge success and stayed at the number one spot for 6 weeks; and had works from artistes like David Bowie and Beach Boys.

Frida was not really interested to perform as a part of the ABBA group. The first project was  a cabaret act Festfolk which released in 1970-71 and flopped. Meanwhile Frida continued to tour alone, while the other three future ABBA band members performed as a group.  Finally, Frida joined the team. Andersson and Ulvaeus who were at the time, also working for other artistes began to grow confident about working as a group as the two women in their group had the uncanny ability to sing beautifully together.  Thus ABBA came to life and life was never the same.

Frida continued to give lead vocals to ABBA’s biggest hits like Super Trouper, Fernando, I have a Dream, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Money,Money, Money and Fernando, while she shared lead vocals with Agnetha Fältskog for  Dancing Queen,  Mamma Mia, Waterloo, The Name of the Game,  Summer Night City, Voulez-Vous and many others.

Compared to the other three mmebrs of the group,  Frida was more of an extrovert, enjoying the limelight and interacting with the audience on tour. She also took avid interest in designing the ABBA costumes and presenting themselves better in public.

Following the breakup of ABBA in 1982,  Frida recorded her solo album in English, produced by Phil Collins, called ‘Something’s Going On’ which became a huge hit.  The album sold 1. 5 million copies and the single “I Know There’s Something Going On” became a chartbuster in many countries like Switzerland, France, Costa Rica, Belgium, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, the USA and Australia. She recorded another solo album called Shine (1984) which was experimental in nature. But the album met with much lesser success than she had hoped to.

In the 90s, Frida took interest in charity and promoting music for a better environment. She became a member of the Swedish environmental organization Det Naturliga Steget (The Natural Step).  In 1992, she performed live at the Stockholm Water Festival at the Kings Castle and the proceeds of the song were given for charity.

In 1996, Lyngstad recorded her Swedish language album Djupa andetag (Deep Breaths) 12 years after Shine and it reached no 1 on the charts.  A follow-up album was supposed to be on the cards, but was shelved due to death of Frida’s daughter in 1998. Several one-off recordings followed wih varying degrees of success but none could match the success and hysteria of ABBA.

In 2004, 30 years after the ABBA had won the contest in Brighton, the musical group met again for the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Competition.  Each of the four members appeared in brief roles with Frida doing a comedy video. This in fact, was the first TIME,, the four had appeared as a group since ABBA split in 1982. The truth is that It was not a group appearance, they filmed their appearance separately.

In 2004 again, Frida met former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus at the anniversary performance of Mamma Mia ! the musical based on ABBA’’s songs.  In 2005, she met her three former ABBA mates at the Swedish premiere of Mamma Mia! in Stockholm.

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