Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 19: Jenny Berggren, former lead-singer in the Swedish pop band Ace of Base, is 41-years-old today.

Swedish singer Jenny Cecilia Berggren is the former lead-singer in the Swedish pop band Ace of Base. Since 1995, she has also been writing songs and performing solo. In 2010 she released her debut album My Story.

Jenny was born in Gothenburg, Sweden. She and her two siblings took music lessons, and Jenny, along with her older sister Malin, practiced violin. Educated to become a teacher, Berggren studied classical music and sang for her church choir with her sister.

During the late 1980s, the Berggren siblings, along with Johnny Lindén and Nicklas Tränk, formed the techno band Tech Noir. The group eventually became Ace of Base. Her college plans to become a teacher, were set aside when Ace of Base was signed to Danish label Mega Records, with the band's debut album eventually selling more than 20 million copies worldwide.

Jenny & Linn
Berggren's original role in the band was equal with her sister, Linn, although the first singles chosen by the record company had Linn singing most of the lead vocals. In the early years, she and Linn only had a minor role in the production or writing of any of the band's first songs. Later, with sister Malin's sudden withdrawal from the spotlight, Berggren was forced into a more prominent role.

Berggren composed several songs for the band's The Bridge album, including "Ravine," "Wave Wet Sand" and "Experience Pearls." She continued to compose songs for the band's albums, and a her compositions have been included on each successive album.

Jonas friend Ulf Ekberg joined the group after Johnny Lindén and Niklas Tränk left  in 1989 and 1990.

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Jenny, Jonas, and Ulf performed a series of concerts in 2007-2009 in Europe and Asia. During the touring they recorded new songs designated to a fifth studio album. The trio didn't get a record contract with the songs that were produced and Jenny continued working on her own solo material.

At the same time, Ulf and Jonas recruited two other female vocalists, Clara Hagman and Julia Williamson. They announced the band would not be called Ace of Base, but later relented with the alternative line-up later presented as "Ace.of.Base." In an interview for Swedish TV Ulf stated: "We're still called Ace of Base. The dots are more for styling and the logo."

Jenny has stated several times that she has never left the band and on the contrary declared that all four original members are still band members and own the brand Ace of Base, by agreement with her brother Jonas and by legal documents.

This was later confirmed by Jonas in an interview stating: "She (Jenny) never officially said ’I quit.' But to the record company, she was a leaving member. And they cancelled her contract. But she never said 'oh, I don’t want to be in the band'."

Regarding the name dispute, Ulf stated that he had "no problems using the name even though all the original members are not included." When asked, "Do you want to go back to Ace of Base again?" Jenny responded "Not right now. It would take some apologies."

In 2008, Jenny wrote an autobiography in Swedish Vinna hela världen. The first edition of the book sold out in Sweden. The English version will be called To Win the World and is planned to be available in 2011.

On New Year's Day 2010, Jenny released her solo song "Free Me" as a free download to her fans via her new website.
In May 2010, Jenny released her first solo single "Here I Am" which is available on iTunes. The single reached number 14 on the Swedish singles charts. On September 15, 2010 she released her second single "Gotta Go." Her debut album "My Story" was released on October 13, 2010.

In February, it was announced that Berggren would be a "wildcard" entry  for the Danish national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011. At the national final on February 26, 2011, Jenny performed "Let Your Heart Be Mine" which was extremely well received by the audience. After the first round of voting, Jenny failed to place in the top four.


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