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Pop Group Abba Marks 50 Years Since “Waterloo”, 25 Years Since “Mamma Mia” Musical


On Saturday, 50 years ago, pop group AbbA won the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, UK with their chart thumping composition “Waterloo”. It set the tone for their rise to the pop music hall of fame with a clutch of other songs including “Mamma Mia”, “Ring Ring”, “Dancing Queen” and so on. AbbA won the competition with 24 points, well ahead of Italy with 18.

For the four member band, Agnetha Falstkog, Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (ABBA), it was to set them on a dizzying climb that made pop group AbbA the toast of the world and won them legions of followers.

Reuters reports that at an event in London to mark 25 years of the musical “Mamma Mia”, AbbA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus joining the cast and crew on stage, reflected on the Swedish group’s longevity. As he noted, “About this time in the evening, 50 years go, I was standing on another stage in another city here in the UK. It’s strange to think if we hadn’t won, I most probably wouldn’t be standing here today. And this wonderful adventure which we call “Mamma Mia” wouldn’t have happened.”

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Mamma Mia first opened in London’s West End on April 6, 1999. It was composed by Ulvaeus and his bandmate Benny Andersson. The creators say over 70 million people all over the world have seen the show in 16 different languages. It has also resulted in two blockbuster movies.

Ulvaeus said it was hard to say what made AbbA the phenomenon that has drawn generation after generation. “It’s a very very elusive feeling,” he said, “And its more to do with gratitude and humility than pride, because it humbles you to know that so many people have listened to something you’ve created and they’ve been made happy by it or sad and that it has meant so much for them in their lives.”

Mamma Mia had a run of 25 years, becoming the third longest running musical in West End history, after Le Miserables, which debuted in 1985, and The Phantom of the Opera in 1986.