ABBA were a massive Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm in 1972, comprising Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. ABBA is an acronym of the first letters of the band members’ first names and is sometimes stylized as the registered trademark ᗅᗺᗷᗅ. The band became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1975 to 1982. They also won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 at the Dome in Brighton, UK, giving Sweden its first triumph in the history of the contest and being the most successful group ever to take part in the competition. Ulvaeus and Andersson are also known for writing the Broadway musical “Chess” in 1980.
ABBA has sold over 380 million albums and singles worldwide, which makes them one of the best-selling music artists of all time, and the second best-selling music group of all time. ABBA was the first group to come from a non-English-speaking country that enjoyed consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the UK, Ireland, the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
After ABBA broke up in late 1982, Andersson and Ulvaeus achieved success writing music for the stage while Lyngstad and Fältskog pursued solo careers with mixed success. ABBA’s music declined in popularity until several films, notably Muriel’s Wedding and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, revived interest in the group and the spawning of several tribute bands. In 1999, ABBA’s music was adapted into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that toured worldwide. A film of the same name, released in 2008, became the highest-grossing film in the United Kingdom that year. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on 15 March 2010.
ABBA was widely noted for the colourful and trend-setting costumes its members wore. The reason for the wild costumes was Swedish tax law – The clothes could be deductible only if they could not be worn other than for performances.[