Jenny Cecilia Petrén,née Berggren, (born 19 May 1972), professionally known as Jenny Berggren and Jenny from Ace of Base is a Swedish mezzo-soprano singer and 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.
Life and career:
Jenny was born in Gothenburg and she is the third of three children born to Göran Berggren, an X-ray technician, and Birgitta Berggren. She was raised in a Christian family in the Gothenburg suburbs.
All three Berggren children 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.
Ace of Base:
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. Berggren also attended university, with the intention of becoming a teacher. This plan fell apart when Ace of Base was signed to Danish label Mega Records, with the band's debut album eventually selling more than 30 million copies worldwide.
On the night of 27 April 1994, Berggren and her mother were attacked in their home by a woman who had followed Berggren home. Berggren's mother was stabbed in the hands, and the woman, a 21-year-old German named Manuela Behrendt, was banned from ever returning to Sweden.
Jenny'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 songs. Berggren later composed several songs for the band's The Bridge album, including "Ravine", a song about the attack, as well as "Wave Wet Sand" and "Experience Pearls". She continued to compose songs for the band's albums, and her compositions have been included on each successive album. Later, with sister Linn's sudden withdrawal from the spotlight and beginning with the single "Life Is a Flower" in 1998, Jenny was forced into a more prominent vocal role.
Reunion with Ace of Base and breakup:
The band remained out of the spotlight throughout 2003 and 2004, although Jenny kept busy by performing solo live performances in several Christian shows with her husband, and released an album as a vocalist with the Swedish group Arose.
Jenny, Jonas, and Ulf performed a series of concerts in 2007-2009 in Europe and Asia. While touring they recorded new songs designated for a fifth studio album. The trio did not get a record contract with the songs that were produced and Jenny continued working on her own solo material. In 2009 Jenny announced on her new Twitter account that she was working on new songs for a solo album.
During this time, Ulf and Jonas recruited two other female vocalists, Clara Hagman and Julia Williamson. When this came to the fans' attention, Jonas and Jenny independently stated that this new group would not be called Ace of Base, but would use another name. This alternative line-up later presented a slightly changed name: "Ace.of.Base", but this was mainly a graphical adjustment used on the cover of their releases only. 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''...they wanted a new girl, a new lead vocalist." Regarding the name dispute, Ulf stated that he had "no problems using the name even though all the original members are not included." Jenny discussed further on this topic in a newspaper interview on 18 October 2010. She expressed that she wasn't allowed by Jonas and Ulf to participate in the song writing for the band's album. "From now on, I want paper on things. I agreed to work under certain conditions, and they just vanished." "They didn't want me in". When asked, "Do you want to go back to Ace of Base again?" she responded "Not right now. It would take some apologies."
Solo career and autobiography:
In late 2009, Jenny published her autobiography "Vinna hela världen". The first edition of the book sold out in Sweden (which only 4% of the books in Sweden do), and a second edition had to be pressed. An English version was to be called "To Win the World" and was planned to be available in 2011, but a release has yet to surface.
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 15 September 2010 she released her second single "Gotta Go". Her debut album "My Story" was released on 13 October 2010.
Berggren was revealed on 3 February to be a wildcard for the Danish national final for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 with her entry Let your heart be mine. At the national final on 26 February 2011, Jenny performed "Let Your Heart Be Mine". After the first round of voting, Jenny failed to place in the top four. As a result, she did not advance further in the competition.
Berggren continues to volunteer her time to various humanitarian charities and has staged several Christian concerts as well as regularly singing in churches.
On 18 September 2004, Berggren married her long-time boyfriend Jakob Petrén, a Swedish pianist. They have two children together, a son and a daughter. Berggren and her family currently reside in Gothenburg.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license