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ABBA received prestigious title in its home country

The Swedish pop quartet was awarded the Royal Order of the Vasa for their musical career

The members of the Swedish pop quartet ABBA received one of Sweden's most prestigious titles this Friday from King Carl XVI Gustaf.

The Royal Order of the Vasa was awarded for the first time in almost 50 years to Agnetha Faltskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. The recognition makes them “First Class Commanders” of the order for their “very outstanding efforts in Swedish and international musical life.”

The Royal Order of the Vasa praises personal efforts for Sweden or Swedish interests. Also the successful performance of public duties and assignments. It was historically dormant until late 2022, when it was reactivated after regulations reopened Royal Warrants to Swedish citizens.

Earlier this year, candidates to receive it were nominated by the public and the Swedish government. The king approved the nominees which included all four members of ABBA.

La entrega

The orders were awarded during a solemn ceremony at the Royal Palace, in the gilded Vita Havet Assembly Rooms. The monarch delivered them in a red box while Queen Silvia took care of the diploma.

“The order you receive today is Sweden's gratitude for your exceptional efforts,” the monarch said before presenting orders to “13 exceptional Swedes.”

Andersson, Faltskog, Lyngstad, who now uses the surname Reuss and carried a cane, received the order alongside Ulvaeus in an event that was broadcast live by Swedish media.

FILE – Swedish pop group ABBA celebrates after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest on stage at the Brighton Dome in England with the song “Waterloo,” on April 6, 1974. The members of ABBA were awarded the Royal Order of the Vasa from the hands of the King of Sweden on Friday, May 31, 2024.

A Little History

ABBA triumphed in the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the cheerful song “Waterloo”. Since then they have become a pop giant, by far the most successful band to win the pan-continental music competition. ABBA's melodic disco pop music has sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide. The theatrical musical “Mamma Mia!”, based on her songs, is 25 years old and gave rise to two films.

Coincidentally, Eurovision was held this year in southern Sweden. Swiss singer Nemo won the 68th edition of the contest with “The Code,” an operatic pop-rap ode to the singer's journey toward accepting a non-binary gender identity.

The members of ABBA have not performed live together in four decades, but released an album, “Voyage,” in 2021. The digital “ABBA-tars” will open in London in 2022.

The members of ABBA receive the Royal Order of the Vasa from King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden for their outstanding contributions to Swedish and international music at a ceremony at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on May 31.

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