ABBA (Swedish pronunciation: [²abːa]) were a Swedish pop group formed in Stockholm by Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. They became one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of popular music, topping the charts worldwide from 1974 to 1982. ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 at The Dome in Brighton, UK, giving Sweden its first triumph in the contest, and are the most successful group ever to take part in the competition.
ABBA’s record sales figure is uncertain and various estimates range from over 140 to over 500 million sold records. This makes them one of the best-selling music artists. ABBA were the first group from a non-English-speaking country to achieve consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and on a lesser scale, the US. They have a joint record eight consecutive number-one albums in the UK. The group also enjoyed significant success in Hispanic Americanmarkets, and recorded a collection of their hit songs in Spanish.
During the band’s active years, Fältskog & Ulvaeus and Lyngstad & Andersson were married. At the height of their popularity, both relationships were suffering strain which ultimately resulted in the collapse of the Ulvaeus–Fältskog marriage in 1979 and the Andersson–Lyngstad marriage in 1981. These relationship changes were reflected in the group’s music, with later compositions featuring more introspective and dark lyrics in contrast to their usual pure-pop sound.