Saturday, January 15, 2011


Anni-Frid Lyngstad

Click above to hear "Där du går lämnar kärleken spår."

If "Där du går lämnar kärleken spår" sounds at all familiar, that's because it's a Swedish version of Edison Lighthouse's kitschy favorite, "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes." Frida's warm mezza-soprano takes it to another place entirely, taking out the kitsch and making it a fun, danceable pop song - a toe tapper.

To call Anni-Frid Lyngstad's career "diverse" would be a huge understatement. She was fronting a jazz band by the age of 13, recording pop and schlager tunes in 1960s Sweden before hitting her second decade, and becoming a world-wide sensation in ABBA by the mid 1970s. As the 1980s rolled around, she had morphed into a spiky-haired New Wave rock goddess, and in the 1990s made a tremendous comeback with the smooth and sophisticated album "Djupa andetag." Yes, Anni-Frid Lyngstad, better known as simply Frida, is a woman of many talents. Her life reads like a storybook, from rags to, quite literally, royalty.

Lyngstad was born in Norway, the illegitimate daughter of a young Norwegian woman, Synni Lyngstad, and a German soldier (a controversial union to say the least.) When the German occupation ended, Lyngstad's father returned home (he would later claim not to know Synni was pregnant), leaving Anni-Frid's mother and grandmother to raise the child in a country that despised the children of German soldiers. As a baby, Anni-Frid was regularly spat upon by passers-by in the street. Wanting her daughter to have a better life, Synni and her mother moved the young girl to Sweden to start anew.

With second husband,
Benny Andersson in
their ABBA days.
Her mother died soon after the family moved to Sweden, and Frida was raised by her grandmother, whom she loved dearly. Her interests turned to music early on, and by the time she had reached her teens, she had her own combo, the Anni-Frid Four. Marriage and motherhood came early, but Frida was restless. She divorced and moved to Stockholm to pursue her dreams, and the rest is (well documented, so I won't rehash it here) history.

After her second marriage to ABBA's Benny Andersson came to an end, Frida re-launched her solo career and married Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss, a marriage that would last until his untimely death in 1999. It had been an intense time of grief for Frida, whose daughter Lise Lotte had perished in an automobile accident the year before.

After recording the critically-lauded album "Djupa andetag" (meaning "deep breaths") in 1996, Frida retired from the music business. She devotes much of her time to charitable work, and to public appearances, because despite being a very private person, she has never forgotten those who brought her so much success...her fans.

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