ABBA performs for 1st time in decades to mark 50th anniversary

It's been 50 years since the creation of ABBA and 30 years since the pop group last sang together on stage. The four members finally reunited to sing at a private party in their honour on Sunday at a hotel in downtown Stockholm.

All 4 members sing together at private party for group in Stockholm

Swedish pop group ABBA is seen at London's Waterloo rail station in 1974, from left: Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Faltskog. (John Downing/Express/Getty Images)

It's been so long since ABBA last performed together that you could be forgiven for thinking Björn and Fältskog refer to a cool baby carrier or Ikea furniture. 

But for those who loved Waterloo and the Dancing Queen, the Swedish group's June 5 performance at a private party in their honour in Stockholm marked the first time in 30 years that the members of ABBA have been on stage together. Fans were quick to post pics of the special night.

Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad chose the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the iconic pop group's inception to reunite onstage at the party at the Berns Salonger hotel. 

The two founding women, Faltskog and Lyngstad, swayed with their famous blonde and brunette locks while singing The Way Old Friends Do to their male co-founding duo Ulvaeus and Andersson. Eventually, the gents joined them on stage, as did other local musicians and celebrities. Paul McCartney even sent a video message of congratulations.

Beyond singing, the band also waxed about the golden days and how the phenomenon of ABBA grew out of friendship.

ABBA co-founders Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus remained friends after the group broke up in 1982. (Chad Rachman/General Motors/Associated Press)

Andersson and Ulvaeus met for the first time on June 5, 1966, and went on to create one of the most successful pop groups of the 1970s.

It was a perfect storm of melodies, facial hair and bellbottom pants that led to more than 380 million albums sold worldwide and a resurgence of appreciation in 1999 with the Broadway musical Mamma Mia! That hit took in more than $2 billion US and has been seen by more than 55 million people around the world.

Meryl Streep was the star of the 2008 film adaptation of the musical Mamma Mia! (Universal Pictures)

Officially, the band called it quits in 1982 and despite a brief public appearance at Stockholm's opening of Mamma Mia! earlier this year, members haven't actually performed together since 1986. Back then, fans were told not to hold their breath for a reunion.

You'll never see us on stage again.- Bjorn Ulvaeus, founding member, ABBA, 2008

Ulvaeus has repeatedly said: "You'll never see us on stage again." Clearly, the stage is having the last laugh, and fans are feeling Super Trouper. 


  • An earlier version of this story included a photo caption that misidentified Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. The caption has been corrected.
    Jun 06, 2016 9:41 PM ET


Jelena Adzic


Jelena Adzic is a reporter, writer and radio columnist with the CBC Arts Unit. Her eyes light up at the mention of design, visual art and architecture.