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Benny Andersson is a musician who played keyboard for 1970s pop super-group ABBA.
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ABBA, with keyboardist Benny Andersson, really took off with their third album, anchored by the popular song "Mamma Mia," which placed ABBA atop the UK chart, a spot it would hold nine times between 1974 and 1980. Its two greatest hits collections, were hugely successful, while singles such as "Dancing Queen" and "Take a Chance on Me" sparked a wave of popularity for the band in the United States.
"It's been almost 30 years. There is no reason. I can't understand the bands that reunite, because there will always be a reason, whether it be economic reasons or the fun of it ... being on the stage again. We don't have that."
Born Göran Bror Benny Andersson on December 16, 1946, in Stockholm, Sweden, to a musical family. Andersson's father and grandfather both loved to play music, and at the age of 6 the future ABBA star was introduced to the accordion. Like he would with almost every other instrument he'd pick up later in life, Andersson took to it without much effort.
Following his time in high school, Andersson signed on as the keyboardist for The Hep Stars, a successful pop band in the 1960s that was affectionately known as "The Swedish Beatles." While touring, Andersson met Björn Ulvaeus, a songwriter and member of the folk band The Hootenanny Singers. ABBA's foundation was slowly being laid. Not only did Andersson and Ulvaeus quickly become friends, but Ulvaeus' group had signed with the recoding label Polar Music, whose owner, Stig Anderson, would eventually become ABBA's manager.
Following the demise of The Hep Stars in the late 1960s, Andersson and Ulvaeus put out their own LP. The record, however, only sold moderately well.
In 1969 Anderson and Ulvaeus met two other musicians, Anna-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog. The two couples (Ulvaeus and Agnetha married in 1971; Andersson and Frida exchanged vows in 1978) soon began playing together. At first, the collaboration took the shape of working on one another's respective recordings. Finally, the four came together as a single group known as Festfolket. But success was not easily found. It was only 1972, after the group had reorganized under a new name, Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid, that the four made a name for themselves with the moderately popular single, "People Need Love."
The group's harmonies, and catchy musical structures in particular, were a big draw for audiences. In 1973, the band maintained its momentum with another hit single, "Ring Ring." The song took third place in the highly influential Eurovision Song Contest, and received airtime on radio stations around Europe.
A year later the band, working under the new name of ABBA, an acronym of their last names, was rewarded with top honors at the Eurovision Song Contest for the single "Waterloo." The song shot up the charts around Europe, and their debut album of the same name proved to be popular as well.
But it wasn't until their self-titled third record that ABBA truly took off. The album was anchored by the wildly popular single "Mamma Mia", which placed ABBA atop the UK chart, a spot it would hold nine times between 1974 and 1980. In all, the group owned the pop charts in UK and Australia for much of the 1970s.
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