Abba say ‘no way’ to reuniting on stage for Eurovision next year

The 2024 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Sweden, 50 years after Abba won the competition. But, sorry fans, it's a no from the group to performing at the event.

Abba say 'no way' to reuniting on stage for Eurovision next year
The members of Abba, from left, Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson at the premiere of the Abba Voyage concert in London in 2022. Photo: AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali

Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, one half of Abba, downplayed the prospect despite Sweden hosting Eurovision on the 50th anniversary of the band’s win – the country’s first – with their breakthrough hit Waterloo.

The Nordic nation is set to stage the world’s biggest live music event for the seventh time after Swedish singer Loreen won this year’s contest, hosted by Britain on behalf of war-torn Ukraine.

Her victory at the eccentric, much-loved competition in Liverpool this month prompted immediate speculation that Abba could take to the stage next year.

However, in an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Andersson said there is “no way” the group will make a celebratory performance or even appearance.

“I don’t want to. And if I don’t want to, the others won’t. It’s the same for all four of us. Someone says no – it’s a no,” he explained.

Ulvaeus added: “We can celebrate 50 years of Abba without us being on stage.”

Abba – which also comprised Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and is an acronym of their first names – shot to international fame after their 1974 Eurovision success.

The band went on to sell hundreds of millions of records and top the charts worldwide, including in the United States in 1977 with Dancing Queen – their only stateside number one.

Other global hits include Super Trouper, Money, Money, Money and Knowing Me, Knowing You.

In 1981, the group released what they said would be a final album and split up the following year.

But their success continued, notably with the compilation Abba Gold released in 1992, and in 2021 they made a comeback, releasing their first new album in nearly 40 years.

They also launched a new concert format featuring de-aged digital avatars – dubbed Abbatars – in London who perform their hits and resemble their 1979 selves.

Ulvaeus and Andersson said the show’s success was “surpassing every expectation”.

“We achieved more than we could ever hope for… seeing this happening after four or five years of work… and realising that the audience actually connected to what was on stage,” Andersson told the BBC.

He added that he would like to take the show to Australia in the future.

“It would feel good to go back there and say thank-you to Australians for supporting us from day one.”

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ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog announces comeback plans as solo artist

Two years after iconic Swedish pop group ABBA returned with a new album, singer Agnetha Fältskog has announced she will unveil a new single as a solo artist this week.

ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog announces comeback plans as solo artist

“So… where do we go from here?,” the 73-year-old asked in a post to Instagram late on Tuesday.

She said the single — also titled “Where Do We Go From Here?” — would be premiering on BBC Radio 2 on Thursday.

Singers Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad represented the double A in the ABBA acronym alongside Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson.

The artist had last week teased that a new release was in the works, in an Instagram post that just said “Where Do We Go From Here?”, without further explanation.

While it took ABBA nearly 40 years to return with a new album after the band split in the early 1980s, Fältskog has since produced several solo albums, the last, “A”, came out in 2013.

ABBA were propelled to global stardom after their 1974 Eurovision Song Contest win with “Waterloo” but they split in 1982, a year after the album, “The Visitors”.

In 2018 the supergroup confirmed rumours they had returned to the studio to record new music.

ABBA finally announced a new album in September 2021 and released the singles “I still have faith in you” and “Don’t shut me down” ahead of the 10-track “Voyage” two months later.

ABBA also made a return to the stage with a London show the following year in the form of projected holograms — dubbed “ABBAtars.”