Anni-Frid Synni Lyngstad, but simply called "Frida," was born in 1945 in the small northern Norwegian village of Bjørkåsen, Ballangen, Norway. She was one of the four members of Swedish pop group ABBA.
Now known as Anni-Frid Prinzessin Reuss von Plauen - "Frida" is formally addressed as Her Serene Highness Princess Anni-Frid Synni Reuss, Countess of Plauen following her marriage to a German prince of the former sovereign House of Reuss in 1992. She now lives in Switzerland.
Born after a liason between 19-year-old Synni Lyngstad and Alfred Haase, (a married German soldier) Frida's mother and grandmother whisked Frida to Sweden to avoid reprisals after the Second World War. Lyngstad's father returned to Germany when his troops were evacuated. Her mother died young and Frida was raised by her grandmother.
Lyngstad stated in several interviews that her grandmother often sang songs to her (notably old Norwegian songs), which resulted in her love for music. She soon showed musical talent at an early age, beginning in her first years at school.
At the age of 13, she got her first job as a dance band and schlager singer in 1958, with The Evald Eks Orchestra. In 1967, Frida won the Swedish national talent competition, "New Faces," arranged by record company EMI and held at Skansen, Stockholm.
This first exposure to a wider television audience caused a sensation, and many record companies and producers contacted Frida immediately.
In September 1967, Frida recorded the vocals for "En Ledig Dag," which was to become her first single for EMI Sweden. In January 1968, she performed this song on national TV, and at this occasion briefly met future ABBA member Agnetha Fältskog, who also performed her first single in the same programme. Lyngstad toured Sweden in 1968, and recorded several singles for EMI. She decided to move to Stockholm to start working full time as a singer.
In 1969, she participated in Melodifestivalen - the Swedish heats for the Eurovision Song Contest - with the song "Härlig är vår jord" ("Our Earth is Wonderful"), and finished fourth. Backstage she met her future spouse 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, produced by her then-fiancé Andersson, was released in 1971.
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Subsequently, her relationship with Andersson, and friendship with Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog led to the formation of ABBA. In 1972, after five years at EMI Sweden, Lyngstad changed record companies and moved to the Polar Music label. She 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 (Frida Alone), produced by Benny Andersson. By then, she was already involved in ABBA. This album includes her successful Swedish version of "Fernando," which became a huge hit in Scandinavia.
ABBA became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1972 to 1983.
ABBA sold over 375 million records worldwide, making them the fourth best-selling popular music artists in the history of recorded music. During the band's existence, Lyngstad and Andersson and Fältskog and Ulvaeus were married couples, although both couples later divorced.
At the height of their popularity, both relationships began suffering strain that led ultimately to the collapse of first the Ulvaeus-Fältskog marriage in 1979 and then of the Andersson-Lyngstad marriage in 1981.
ABBA has never officially announced the end of the group, but the group has long been considered dissolved. Their last public performance together as ABBA was on the British TV programme The Late, Late Breakfast Show (live from Stockholm) 11 December 1982. That same year, Frida had released her solo album Something's Going On.
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