Sunday, 8 May 2011

Anni-Frid Lyngstad

Anni-Frid Prinzessin Reuss von Plauen (born Anni-Frid Synni Lyngstad, November 15 1945 in Bjørkåsen, Ballangen, Norway), also known as Frida Lyngstad, is a Norwegian/Swedish singer of Norwegian/German origin. She was one of the four members of Swedish pop group ABBA.

She is formally styled Her Serene Highness Princess Anni-Frid Synni Reuss of Plauen following her marriage to a German prince of the former sovereign House of Reuss in 1992.

Frida stated that her grandmother often sang old Norwegian songs to her, which resulted in her love for music. She showed musical talent at an early age. She was often asked to sing in front of the class and soon became known for her beautiful voice. At the age of 13, Frida got her fist job as a dance band and schlager singer with The Evald Eks Orchestra. To advance and develop, she also started to take singing lessons. Later, she teamed up with a 15-piece big band, who performed a jazz repertoire covering Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and Count Basie. In 1963, she formed her own band, the Anni-Frid Four. In 1967, Frida won the Swedish talent show New Faces. Frida became very popular and released many singles. In 1969 Frida participated at the Swedish pre-selection for the ESC with the song Härlig Är Vår Jord which came 4th. Backstage she met Benny Andersson, who also participated in the contest as composer. They soon met again at another venue and then became a couple.

Her first album, Frida, was released in 1971. After that she scored her first Swedish No.1 hit with Min Egen Stad. All four future members of ABBA sang back-up vocals on this song. Frida continued to play in cabarets, toured and regularly perform on TV and radio. Subsequently, her relationship with Benny Andersson, and friendship with Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog led to the formation of ABBA. In 1972, Frida recorded the single Man Vill Ju Leva Lite Dessemellan, which became her second No. 1 hit on the Swedish charts.

Her next solo album in Swedish, was Frida Ensam, produced by Benny Andersson. By now, she was already involved in ABBA. This album includes her successful Swedish version of Fernando, which stayed at the no. 1 spot in the Svensktoppen radio charts for 9 weeks, but was never released as a single. It became an enormous commercial and critical success in Sweden, topping the Swedish album charts for six weeks and remaining in the charts for 38.

At first, Frida was hesitant to perform with her boyfriend Benny Andersson, his best friend Björn Ulvaeus and his girlfriend, Agnetha Fältskog. Their first project together was the cabaret act Festfolk, which flopped in the winter of 1970–1971. The following year, Frida toured on her own while the other three future ABBA members started performing together on a regular basis. Eventually, she rejoined them. Benny and Björn were busy producing other artists, but soon discovered the qualities of Frida's and Agnetha's voices combined: ABBA came to life. With her warm mezzo-soprano voice, Frida contributed lead vocals to some of ABBA's biggest hits like Fernando, Money, Money, Money, Super Trouper, I Have a Dream, Knowing Me, Knowing You and shared lead vocals with Agnetha on Mamma Mia, Waterloo, Dancing Queen, The Name of the Game, Voulez-Vous, Summer Night City and others. Frida clearly enjoyed the spotlight more than the other three members of ABBA. She truly liked to tour and to meet audience members one-on-one. She took an active part in co-designing the famed ABBA costumes for their tours and TV performances. Since the members of ABBA went their separate ways, Frida has been the only one who openly regrets there never have been a reunion to date.

In 1982, during ABBA's last year as a working band, Frida recorded and released her first post-Abba solo album. This was also her first solo album in English. The Phil Collins-produced album was called Something's Going On, and became a big success for Frida worldwide. Frida and Phil covered the UK pre-selection song Here We'll Stay.

In 1983, Frida assisted with ABBAcadabra - the Musical. In 1984 Frida released a new, experimental, album called Shine which became a big success.

In 1990, Frida became a member of the committee of the Swedish environmental organization Det Naturliga Steget. The organization wanted a famous face to help them reach the public, and in 1991 she became chairwoman for the organization Artister För Miljön. In 1992, Frida performed live at the Stockholm Water Festival at the Kings Castle and released the environmental charity single with her cover of Julian Lennon's song Saltwater. All the money from this single went to charity. In 1993, on Queen Silvia's 50th birthday, Frida was asked to perform Dancing Queen on stage, as performed by ABBA when the king and queen got married. Frida contacted The Real Group and together they performed the song live at the Stockholm Opera House in front of the king and queen.

In 1996, Frida recorded her Swedish language album Djupa Andetag. The album attracted overall positive reviews and was a big success in Sweden where it became No.1 on the album chart. Frida did many TV appearances in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland to promote the album. A follow-up album with producer Anders Glenmark was reportedly in the works, but was shelved due to the death of Frida's daughter in 1998.

Several one-off recordings followed, including a 2002 duet with opera singer Filippa Giordano.

For the 2004 semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, staged in Istanbul thirty years after ABBA had won the contest in Brighton, Lyngstad appeared in a special comedy video made for the interval act, entitled Our Last Video. Also in 2004, Lyngstad appeared with former band mates Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus at London's fifth anniversary performance of Mamma Mia!, the musical based on ABBA songs. In 2005, she joined all three of her former ABBA colleagues at the Swedish premiere of Mamma Mia! at the arena Cirkus in Stockholm.

In September 2010, a new album by musician Georg Wadenius titled Reconnection was released.


  1. Extremely beautiful, but come on: titles are so gawdy and self-important. How do people 1) do that to themselves and/or 2) not giggle when someone else declares their own!