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The ABBA band began in June 1966 when Björn Ulvaeus born in 1945 met Benny Andersson (born 1946) for the first time. Björn was a member of the Hootenanny Singers, a very popular folk music group, while Benny played keyboards in Sweden’s biggest pop group of the 1960s.
The pair wrote their first song together in the late 1966, and by the end of the decade they had established a regular partnership as composers. By that time, Benny had left The Hep Stars which was his original band. Stig Anderson (1931–1997) was ABBA’s manager. Stig also wrote many lyrics of ABBA hits during the first years of the group’s career.
In the spring of 1969, Björn and Benny met the two women who were to become not only their fiancées but also the girl half of ABBA. Agnetha Fältskog (born 1950) married Björn in July 1971. Anni-Frid Lyngstad (born 1945), also known as Frida, she was a very good singer. Anni-Frid and Benny only got married later though.
Their first “hit” was in spring of 1972 they recorded a song called ‘People Need Love’, it became a small hit in Sweden. At this time they called themselves Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid.
Encouraged by this success, they entered the 1973 Swedish selections for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song ‘Ring Ring’. They finished third, but the single and the album of the same name competed for the top positions on the Swedish chart. ‘Ring Ring’ also became a hit in several other European countries.
The group entered the selections again in 1974, this time with ‘Waterloo’, which took them all the way to the finals in Brighton, England. By this time they had changed their name to ABBA, an acronym of their first names. ABBA was also the name of a Swedish canned fish company, which luckily agreed to lending their name to a pop group. The Eurovision Song Contest on April 6, 1974 turned out to be the most famous moment in ABBA history, when the group won the international juries over with ‘Waterloo’.