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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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CRIME

C.Gambino: Who is the Grammis-winning rapper shot dead in Gothenburg?

On May 4th, masked rapper C.Gambino was on stage to receive a Grammis award for the best Swedish hip-hop artist. A month later on Tuesday, he was gunned down in a Gothenburg car park.

C.Gambino: Who is the Grammis-winning rapper shot dead in Gothenburg?

What happened? 

According to police, the 26-year-old rapper was ambushed by one, or perhaps two, gunmen as he entered a carpark near the Hisings Backa district north of Gothenburg, at about 10.40pm on Tuesday. He was rushed to hospital in an ambulance with at least two bullet-wounds, but died shortly after arrival. 

The rapper lived in the district, which is classed as a “vulnerable area” by national police, and had just parked his car at the time he was shot. 

Police say the assailants escaped in a silver Volvo V70 car.

The Expressen newspaper reported on Wednesday that police had raided an apartment in Gothenburg after the shooting. 

READ ALSO: ‘Supply and demand, motherfxxker!’: The real crime behind Sweden’s gangster rap

Who was C.Gambino? 

C.Gambino, whose real name was Karar Ramad, was one of Sweden’s leading rappers, with about a million listeners a month on Spotify.

His latest release, whose title Sista Gång, meaning “last time”, is rather macabre in retrospect, has been streamed 700,000 times on Spotify since it was released on Friday. 

Adopting the practice of the UK drill rap genre, Gambino always wore a mask for publicity photos, for music videos, in concerts and other public appearances.

The rapper came to the attention of hip hop fans in 2019 with his track Rebell. His debut album, Sin City, hit number two on the Sverigetopplistan of most sold records in 2022, primilarly on the back of its two main hit tracks, M5 and CCTV. 

His second album, In Memory of Some Standup Guys, was one of the most popular releases of early 2024, helping to win the rapper the Hip Hop of the Year award in the Grammis, Sweden’s oldest music prize, on May 4th. 

C.Gambino is not to be confused with Childish Gambino, the rap name of the US actor Donald Glover, although both presumably took the name from the Gambino crime family, which is one of the notorious “Five Families” that comprise the New York mafia. 

Was C.Gambino a criminal? 

Diamant Salihu, crime reporter for Sweden’s public broadcaster SVT, said that he had information that the rapper had “certain gang connections”, and had been found guilty of some minor crimes, but stressed that he seems to have focused on his music career. 

“He does feature in the crime register but he primarily devoted himself to the music,” Salihu told the broadcaster

Police in Gothenburg told the Expressen newspaper on Wednesday that they were investigating whether the shooting was connected to the long-running conflict between gangs in the northern and southern parts of the Biskopsgården suburb.  

The Aftonbladet newspaper, reported that the 26-year-old had a ran a joint business with a man police believe is a member of the Norra Biskop group, and who has previously been found guilty of gang crime offences. 

“I can only say that he is known to us from before, and there is a network connection. But I don’t want to give any more details than that,” Thomas Fuxborg, from the Gothenburg Police, told the newspaper

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