Why ABBA Turned Down $US1 Billion To Reunite In 2000


Swedish pop groupABBAis responsible for hit songs like “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Money, Money, Money.”

Made up of two sets of then couples — Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — ABBA has sold over 380 million albums and singles worldwide and is the third-best-selling group of all time, behind the Beatles and Queen and ahead of the Rolling Stones.

But in 1979, at the height of their success, Fältskog and Ulvaeus divorced while Lyngstad and Andersson called it quits soon after in 1981. By 1982, the group

was broken up.

The four singers of Swedish pop group ABBA in 1977. From left: Benny Anderson, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, Agnetha Fältskog, and Bjorn Ulvaeus. AP Photo

In 2000, amida revival of several of their hits,a American-British consortium offered the group $US1 billion to reunite for 100 shows,but they declined the offer, according to E! Online.

To put that into perspective, the group was offered more than the value of 25 different Major League Baseball teams and the GDPs of some countries. That’s potentially $US250 million that each member of the group refused.

“It’s a hell of a lot of money to say no to, but we decided it wasn’t for us,” Andersson told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet in 2000.

Bjorn Ulvaeus and Frida Synni Lyngstad, former ABBA members who were not married, reunited at the at the ABBA World exhibition in London in 2010. AP Photo/Joel Ryan

Andersson and bandmate Bjorn Ulvaeus both argue that popular reincarnations of their songs (many by teen group S Club 7) have been successful because the group never reunited.

“We have never made a comeback,” Ulvaeus told the paper. “Almost everyone else has. I think there’s a message in that.”

Fältskog explained to Radio Times last year: “We said no because they wanted 250 shows or something, it was incredible. No chance. We had done it.

Lyngstad also confirmed this year to Ireland’s RTE that “no amount of money would change our minds. Maybe we sometimes say it would be good to do a song together again, just a recording and nothing else, but I don’t know if that will happen — so don’t say that we will!”

Despite the fact that the foursome recently reunited — the “chemistry was still there” — all members said they were not tempted to reunite.

The four founding members are doing just fine since the group’s break-up 32 years ago.

Last March, “Mamma Mia,” a stage musical based on ABBA’s music, became the ninth-longest-running show in Broadway history. Over the show’s 13-year run, it has been seen by 50 million people worldwide and raked in over $US2 billion.

A star-studded film based on the musical was released in 2008 and went on to be a $609 million hit at the box office.

In 2010, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.