June 5, 2016: ABBA Perform Together After 30 Years

Share This:

abba site1 (crop)

They were once among the most successful entertainers on the planet. And on June 5, 2016, in Stockholm, Sweden, the four members of the pop supergroup ABBA performed together in public for the first time since 1986.

The event was a party to mark the 50th anniversary of when Abba members Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson met. The two later started ABBA with Agnetha Fältskog (who would marry Ulvaeas) and Anni-Frid Lyngstadon (who married Andersson; both couples later divorced). Their 1974 victory in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo” launched the foursome to international superstardom.

The group was not expected to perform at the gathering of friends, fellow musicians, Swedish celebrities and others at Stockholm’s Berns Salonger hotel.

Initially, Agnetha and Anni-Frid sang “The Way Old Friends Do,” which appears as a live cut on their 1980 album Super Trouper. When the song ended to rapturous applause, they were joined onstage by Björn and Benny.

When Agnetha and Anni-Frid broke into the group’s 1980 hit “Me and I,” the two men joined in and ABBA was briefly reborn. The moment was captured in photos that appeared on social media.

On April 27, 2018, the quartet made the stunning announcement that “after some 35 years, it could be fun to join forces again and go into the recording studio.” They indicated that they have produced two new songs for a TV special that was originally expected to air in December 2018. Though it was subsequently delayed to 2019, the year came and went without significant news on the project. Then the pandemic happened.

After years of hints and speculation, the group announced their comeback at a global event that was streamed live on Sept. 2, 2021. A new album, Voyage, was released on Nov. 5 and concerts featuring their intricate “ABBA-tars” backed by a live 10-piece band, commenced on May 27 to rave reviews, at a theater in London made especially for the production. Tickets are available here.

The group is one of the best-selling acts in pop music history, estimated to have sold between 140 million and 500 million records. Although far more popular in much of the rest of the world, they did score hits in the U.S. from the 1970s into the ’80s with such songs as “Dancing Queen” (their only American #1), “Waterloo,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Fernando” and “SOS.”

Related: ABBA’s U.S. success: The inside story

The group broke up in 1982, but ABBA’s music has remained popular and enjoyed a resurgence with the stage musical based on the songs, Mamma Mia!, which debuted in 1999 and has been a hit in a number of countries, and then the 2008 film version. ABBA was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 by Barry and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. Only Lyngstad and Andersson attended the ceremony in New York City.

ABBA’s recordings and merch are available in the U.S. here and in the U.K. here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

2 Comments so far

Jump into a conversation
  1. Abbagal
    #1 Abbagal 16 March, 2018, 16:50

    Me and I was not performed. The 4 of them have not performed in public for 30 years. Those parts of this story are fabricated.

    Reply this comment
    • Greg Brodsky
      Greg Brodsky 16 March, 2018, 22:35

      Thanks for taking the time to write, Abbagal. If you search: Abba June 5 2016, you’ll see loads of stories about their impromptu performance at a private event. Why would you say it’s fabricated?

      Reply this comment

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.