Anni- Frid Lygnstad was born in Ballangen a small Norwegian Village about 30 Kilometers west of Narvik, at that time 1945 the country was still occupied by the Germans who ruled the country by fear promoting the Nazi Regime as the way forward.
At that time Synni Lyngstad. Frida's Mother had Befriended a German Soldier named Alfred Haase 25 years of age, being 6 years Synni's senior, gradually they began to trust each other and fell in love. At no time did Synni think or see him as the enemy in any way she just saw a man far from home performing a duty he hated.
Regardless of warnings from family and friends Synni continued to see Alfred in secret, the scandal soon became common knowledge and people started talking. the end of the war came quickly so Alfred had to return to Germany but promised Synni he would return as soon as possible Synni dare not tell him she was pregnant asAlfred was already Married in Germany.
Ann-Frid Lyngstad. was born on the 15th of November 1945, the inhabitants of Ballangen called her German Child and insulted Synni as she walked up the street with her child, however Synni could not care less, Frida was too important to her, she also believed that Alfred would return to her but to no avail she never heard from him, it was then that Synni decided to leave her home town.
Synni found work in the south and left Anna- Frid in the care of her Mother, she eventually crossed the Swedish border with her Grandmother Agny.-Agny rented a small two roomed flat and worked as a dressmaker and when money was short at the end of each month Agny would wash dishes in a Cafe so she could make ends meet.
So far away from her family and daughter Synni could stand it no longer, with no news of her love Alfred she left her job in Norway and travelled to Torshalla to be with her family. Synni found a job as a waitress but after some months became seriously ill and died at the young age of twenty one.
Born 15 November 1945.
Ballangen west of Norway.
Father Alfred Haase.
Mother Synni Lyngstad.
Hans and Lise-Lotte
Frida Lyngstad stated in several interviews that her grandmother frequently sang songs to her (notably old Norwegian songs), which resulted in her love for music. She soon showed musical talent at a very early age, beginning in her first years at school. On Fridays, she was often asked by her teacher to sing in front of the class and soon became known in school and in the neighborhood for her beautiful voice. Although her grandmother encouraged her to sing (according to Lyngstad herself), she never attended any of her performances. Her grandmother died shortly before ABBA formed and therefore never experienced the success of the group.
At the age of 13, she got her first job as a dance band and schlager singer in 1958, with The Evald Eks Orchestra. Evald Ek himself remembers: "It was hard to believe, such a young person could sing that well. She was so easy to rehearse with and she was never shy onstage. The only thing I taught her was to sing out. In those days, she had a tendency of holding back her voice a little". With the Evald Eks Orchestra, the 13-year-old Lyngstad performed every weekend in front of a dancing audience. The sets often lasted up to five hours. The songs she liked most to sing were the evergreens; "All of Me", "Night and Day" and "Begin the Beguine". To advance and develop, she also started to take singing lessons. Later, she teamed up with a 15-piece 'big band', who performed a jazz repertoire covering Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington and Count Basie; her vocal idols being Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee.
In 1963, she formed her own band, the Anni-Frid Four.
On 3 September 1967, Frida won the Swedish national talent competition, "New Faces", arranged by record company EMI and held at Skansen, Stockholm. The song she chose to sing was "En Ledig Dag" ("A Day Off"). The first prize in this contest was a recording contract with EMI Sweden. Unbeknownst to Lyngstad, the winner of the contest was also expected to appear the same evening in the country's most popular TV show at that time, Hylands Hˆrna.
This happened on the same day Sweden switched from driving on the left side of the road to the right side. Driving on that day was discouraged, so most of the nation was watching TV that night. Frida performed her winning song live. (The performance can be seen on Frida - The DVD)
This first exposure to a wider television audience caused a sensation, and many record companies and producers contacted Frida immediately. EMI executives, fearing they might lose their new singer, took the precaution of driving from Stockholm to Frida's home in Eskilstuna the next morning with a recording contract for her to sign. EMI producer Olle Bergman remembers: "We got so interested and fond of her and I thought she had everything a person needs to become something.
On 11 September 1967, Frida recorded the vocals for "En Ledig Dag", which was to become her first single for EMI Sweden. Professional and self-assured on this first day in the studio, she recorded the vocals in just one take. The early songs she recorded for EMI Sweden are included in the EMI compilation Frida 1967-1972, digitally remastered and released by EMI Sweden in 1997.
On 29 January 1968, she performed this song on national TV, and at this occasion briefly met future ABBA member Agnetha Faltskog, who also performed her first single in the same programme. Lyngstad toured Sweden in 1968, and recorded several singles for EMI. She decided to move to Stockholm to start working full-time as a singer.
In 1969, she participated in Melodifestivalen - the Swedish heats for the Eurovision Song Contest - with the song "H‰rlig ‰r vÂr jord" ("Our Earth Is Wonderful"), and finished fourth. Backstage she met her future spouse Benny Andersson, who also participated in the contest as composer. They soon met again at another venue and then became a couple.
Frida's early work
Frida's first album, Frida, produced by her then-fiancé Andersson, was released in 1971. The album received unanimously generous praise from the critics and the press, who especially noted the precision and versatility of Lyngstad's voice. For example Swedens biggest morning paper "Dagens Nyheter" (Daily News) wrote: "Professional, sure and certain LP-debut...low-key but self-assured personality with sprinkles of temperament, humor and tenderness. And she sings in such a way that you understand that she´s got something between her ears - she sings, in other words, in a very intelligent way". She now scored her first Swedish No.1 hit with "Min Egen Stad" ("My Own Town"). All four future members of ABBA sang back-up vocals on this song. The album is now included in the EMI compilation Frida 1967-1972.
Frida continued to play in cabarets, and tour and regularly perform on TV and radio. Subsequently, her relationship with Andersson, and friendship with Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog led to the formation of ABBA. In 1972, after five years at EMI Sweden, Lyngstad changed record companies and moved to the Polar Music label. She recorded the single "Man vill ju leva lite dessemellan" ("One wants to live a little in between"), which became her second No. 1 hit on the Swedish charts.
Her next solo album in Swedish, was Frida ensam (Frida Alone), produced by Benny Andersson. By now, she was already involved in ABBA. This album includes her successful Swedish version of "Fernando", which stayed at the no. 1 spot in the Svensktoppen radio charts for 9 weeks, but was never released as a single. The album was recorded between sessions of the ABBA albums
"Waterloo" and "ABBA". Due to the rising popularity of the group, the album took 18 months to record. It became an enormous commercial and critical success in Sweden, topping the Swedish album charts for six weeks and remaining in the charts for 38. The album was mostly a collection of covers of songs by artists like the Beach Boys, 10cc and David Bowie, receiving positive reviews from Melody Maker: "The album portrays Frida as a very strong and emotive singer and shows the true value of the music, that if sung properly and with enough feeling it transcends all language barriers". This album was such a big success, it eventually went platinum.
At first, Frida was hesitant to perform with her boyfriend Benny Andersson, his best friend Björn Ulvaeus and his wife, Agnetha Fältskog. Their first project together was the cabaret act Festfolk, which flopped in the winter of 1970-1971. The following year, 'Frida' toured on her own while the other three future ABBA members started performing together on a regular basis.[Eventually, she rejoined them.
Andersson and Ulvaeus were busy producing other artists, but soon discovered the qualities of Lyngstad's and Fältskog's voices combined: ABBA came to life. Frida contributed lead vocals to some of ABBA's
biggest hits like "Fernando", "Money, Money, Money", "Super Trouper", "I Have a Dream", "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and shared lead vocals with Agnetha Fältskog on "Mamma Mia", "Waterloo", "Dancing Queen", "The Name of the Game", "Voulez-Vous", "Summer Night City" and others.
Frida clearly enjoyed the spotlight more than the other three members of ABBA. She truly liked to tour and to meet audience members one-on-one. She took an active part in co-designing the famed ABBA costumes for their tours and TV performances. Since the members of ABBA went their separate ways, Frida has been the only one who openly regrets there has never been a reunion to date.
In 1982, during ABBA's last year as a working band, Frida recorded and released her first post-Abba solo album. This was also her first solo album in English. The Phil Collins-produced album was called Something's Going On, and became a big success for Frida worldwide. A much rockier sound was found on many of the songs and Phil Collins' drum sound contributed a lot, especially on the lead single. The album sold 1.5 million copies and spawned the successful single "I Know There's Something Going On", which topped the charts in Switzerland, Belgium, Costa Rica and France, where it stayed No 1 for five weeks. The song also reached the top five in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway and Australia amongst others. In the United States, the single reached #13 in March 1983 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on Radio & Records, and was the 20th biggest selling single in the US that year.
The song and its video were heavily promoted and played on MTV. The album itself received good reviews, with Billboard writing: "ABBA's auburn-haired songstress makes a bold solo project a stunning success", while Mark Coleman described the album in the third edition of Rolling Stone Album Guide as "a sharp, rock-oriented, delightfully eclectic album". William Cooper had a similar opinion in Allmusic: "Frida escapes the creative limitations of being a member of one of the world's most popular groups on this solid and often riveting album". Swedish Television SVT documented this historical event by filming the whole recording process. The result became a one-hour TV documentary, including interviews with Frida and Phil, Björn and Benny, as well as all the musicians on the album. Due to the success of this album and its lead single, Frida was voted "Best Female Artist Of The Year" 1982, by the readers of Sweden's biggest evening paper Aftonbladet, receiving the Swedish Music Award Price Rockbjörnen.
In 1983, Lyngstad assisted with Abbacadabra, and recorded one of the tracks with two different male vocalists in different languages, including Frenchman Daniel Balavoine on the track "Belle" and on the English version "Time" with B. A. Robertson. This track was a cover of "Arrival", an instrumental track from the ABBA album of the same name.
Lyngstad's next album was the experimental Shine (1984). This album was recorded at Studios De La Grande Armée in Paris, France and produced by Steve Lillywhite, known for his work with artists like Peter Gabriel, U2, Rolling Stones and Morrissey amongst others. The young producer Lillywhite was only 25 when this album was recorded and he gave Frida a very experimental sound and managed to create a relaxed atmosphere in the studio. The album had much less success than hoped though it reached the Top 20 in many European countries, #6 in Sweden being its highest position.