You Say It's Your Birthday: Abba's Anni-Frid Lyngstad

Today is the 52nd birthday of Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad, the red-headed

vocalist for the '70s Swedish pop-sensation Abba. Due to the worldwide commercial

appeal, Abba were among the most successful groups of the '70s and gave the world such

pop classics as "Waterloo," "Dancing Queen" and "Take A Chance On Me." Born in

Narvik, Norway, Frida moved with her grandmother to Sweden after her mother died in

1947. She grew up in Eskilstuna, a town about 100 miles from Stockholm. After singing

with a jazz group led by Bengt Sandlund, she and the group's bass player, Ragnar

Fredericksson, left to form their own band, The Anni-Frid Four. In 1967, she won a

national talent contest and soon afterwards left Eskilstuna to live in Stockholm. By 1970,

she was living with future Abba keyboardist/vocalist Benny Andersson and performing

with vocalist Agnetha Faltskog on compositions written by Andersson and songwriting

partner Bjorn Ulvaeus. The foursome were the crowd favorite in the 1973 Eurovision

Song Contest and won the 1974 contest with "Waterloo," a song that would hit #1 in the

U.K. and the top 10 in the U.S.

The band started its long string of chart-topping success with the 1975 release of "SOS," a

song which returned them to the U.K. top 10 and U.S. top 20. After that, the hits just kept

coming. While 1977's "Dancing Queen" would be their only U.S. #1 song, the group

stayed on the pop charts around the world with such hits as 1976's "Mamma Mia," 1978's

"Take A Chance On Me" and 1979's "Fernando." Between 1976 and 1979, five

consecutive Abba albums topped the U.K. charts. Following the lead of Ulvaeus and

Faltskog, Lyngstad and Andersson married in 1978. The couple continued to follow the

lead of Ulvaeus and Faltskog and divorced in 1980. The group released its final album in

1981 and then broke up amidst charges of financial misgivings, kidnapping threats and

expressions of pain and suffering. In 1982, Lyngstad started just going by Frida and

released a Phil Collins produced solo album entitled Something Going On. The

album's title track featured Collins on drums and hit the U.S. top 20. Frida's second, and

so far final, solo album Shine, was released in 1984 and managed to reach #68 on

the British charts.

Other birthdays: C.W. McCall, 69; Petula Clark, 65; Steve Fossen (Heart), 48; Michael

Cooper (Con Funk Shun), 45 and Tony Thompson (Chic/Power Station), 43.