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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson - Just can't stop loving you

Video of Michael Jackson singing hit song "Just can't stop loving you"

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

Video of Michael Jackson singing hit song "Billie Jean"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Great Britain National Anthem - God save the Queen

Video for Great Britain National anthem "God save the Queen

Lyrics for Great Britain National Anthem "God save the Queen"

God save our gracious Queen
Long live our noble Queen
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious
Happy and glorious
Long to reign over us
God save the Queen!

One realm of races four
Blest more and ever more
God save our land!
Home of the brave and free
Set in the silver sea
True nurse of chivalry
God save our land!

Of many a race and birth
From utmost ends of earth
God save us all!
Bid strife and hatred cease
Bid hope and joy increase
Spread universal peace
God save us all!

USA Natioanl Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner

Video for USA National Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner with lyrics

Version by Mariah Carey:

Lyrics for USA National Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner

O! say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave![10]

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Lionel Ritchie - Say you, say me

Video of Lionel Ritchie singing "Say you, say me"

Lyrics for the song "Say you, say me"

Say you, say me
Say it for always
That's the way it should be

Say you, say me
Say it together

I had a dream,
I had an awesome dream
People in the park
Playing games in the dark
And what they played,
Was a masquerade,
From behind the walls of doubt
A voice was crying out

Say you, say me
Say it for always
That's the way it should be

Say you, say me
Say it together

As we go down lifes lonesome highway,
Seems the hardest thing to do
is to find a friend or two
Is to find the
That helping hand,
Someone who understands
when you feel you lost your way
You've got someone there to say:
I'll show you

Say you, say me
Say it for always
That's the way it should be

Say you, say me
Say it together

So you think you know the answers,
Oh, no
Well, the whole worlds got you dancing, thats right, Im telling you.
Its time to start believe,
oh yes,
Believe in who you are, you are a shining star.

Say you, say me
Say it for always
That's the way it should be

Say you, say me
Say it together

Say it together

Lionel Ritchie - Endless love

Video of Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross singing "Endless love"

Lyrics for the song "Endless love"

My love, there's only you in my life,
The only thing that's right.
My first love, you're every breath that I take,
You're every step I make.
And I, I want to share, all my love with you,
No one else will do.
And your eyes, they tell me how much you care.
Oh yes, you will always be, my endless love.

Two hearts, two hearts that beat as one.
Our lives have just begun.
Forever, I'll hold you close in my arms,
I can't resist your charm.
My love, I'll be a fool, for you I'm sure,
You know I don't mind.
Cause you, you mean the world to me.
Oh, I know I've found in you, my endless love.

And love, I'll be that fool, for you, I'm sure.
You know I don't mind.
And yes, you'll be the only one.
Cause no one can deny,
This love I have its fine.
I'll give it all to you,
My love, my love, my endless love.

Lionel Ritchie - Three times a lady

Video of Lionel Ritchie singing "Three times a lady"

Lyrics for the song "Three times a lady"

Thanks for the times
That you've given me
The memories are all in my mind
And now that we've come
To the end of our rainbow
There's something I must say out loud
You're once, twice, Three times a lady
Yes youre once, twice, Three times a lady

And I love you
When we are together
The moments I cherish
With every beat of my heart
To touch you to hold you
To feel you to need you
There's nothing to keep us apart
You're once twice
Three times a lady
And I love you
I love you

Michael Bolton - When a man loves a woman

Video of Michael Bolton singing "When a man loves a woman" with lyrics

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Archies - You are my candy girl

Oh, Honey Honey.
You are my candy girl,
and you got me wanting you.
Oh, Sugar, Sugar.
You are my candy girl
and you got me wanting you.

I just can't believe the loveliness of loving you.
(I just can't believe it's true).
I just can't believe the wonder of this feeling too.
(I just can't believe it's true).

Oh, Honey Honey.
You are my candy girl,
and you got me wanting you.
Oh, Sugar, Sugar.
You are my candy girl
and you got me wanting you.

When I kissed you girl,
I knew how sweet a kiss could be.
(I know how sweet a kiss can be)
Like the summer sunshine
pour your sweetness over me.
(Pour your sweetness over me).

Oh pour little sugar on me honey (sugar)
Pour little sugar on me baby (honey honey)
When you make love so sweet (Yeah Yeah Yeah.)
Pour little sugar on me (oh yeah)
Pour little sugar on me honey
Pour little sugar on me baby
I'm gonna make love so sweet (hey hey hey)
Pour little sugar on me honey.

Ah sugar.
Oh honey, honey.
You are my candy, girl,
and you got me wanting you.

Oh honey (honey, honey, sugar, sugar)
Sugar, sugar
You are my candy girl.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bob Marley - Get up, stand up

Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!

Preacherman, don't tell me,
Heaven is under the earth.
I know you don't know
What life is really worth.
It's not all that glitters is gold;
'Alf the story has never been told:
So now you see the light, eh!
Stand up for your rights. Come on!

Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!
Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up: don't give up the fight!

Most people think,
Great God will come from the skies,
Take away everything
And make everybody feel high.
But if you know what life is worth,
You will look for yours on earth:
And now you see the light,
You stand up for your rights. Jah!

Get up, stand up! (Jah, Jah!)
Stand up for your rights! (Oh-hoo!)
Get up, stand up! (Get up, stand up!)
Don't give up the fight! (Life is your right!)
Get up, stand up! (So we can't give up the fight!)
Stand up for your rights! (Lord, Lord!)
Get up, stand up! (Keep on struggling on!)
Don't give up the fight! (Yeah!)

We sick an' tired of-a your ism-skism game -
Dyin' 'n' goin' to heaven in-a Jesus' name, Lord.
We know when we understand:
Almighty God is a living man.
You can fool some people sometimes,
But you can't fool all the people all the time.
So now we see the light (What you gonna do?),
We gonna stand up for our rights! (Yeah, yeah, yeah!)

So you better:
Get up, stand up! (In the morning! Git it up!)
Stand up for your rights! (Stand up for our rights!)
Get up, stand up!
Don't give up the fight! (Don't give it up, don't give it up!)
Get up, stand up! (Get up, stand up!)
Stand up for your rights! (Get up, stand up!)
Get up, stand up! ( ... )
Don't give up the fight! (Get up, stand up!)
Get up, stand up! ( ... )
Stand up for your rights!
Get up, stand up!
Don't give up the fight!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bob Dylan - The time they are a-changin'

Video of Bob Dylan singing "The time they are a-changin'"

Lyrics for the song "The time they are a-changin" by Bob Dylan

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’. Read the lyrics and how aptly the describe the situation in Perak today:

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sam Cooke - Wonderful World

Video of Sam Cooke singing the song "Wonderful World"

Lyrics for the song "Wonderful World" by Sam Cooke

Don't know much about history
Don't know much about biology
Don't know much about science book
Don't know much about the French I took
But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about geography
Don't know much about trigonometry
Don't know much about algebra
Don't know what a slide rule is for
But I do know one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world this would be

Now I don't claim to be an A student
What I'm trying to be
For maybe by being an A student baby
I can win your love for me

Don't know much about history
Don't know much about biology
Don't know much about science book
Don't know much about the French I took
But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about geography
Don't know much about trigonometry
Don't know much about algebra
Don't know what a slide rule is for
But I do know one and one is two
And if this one could be with you
What a wonderful world this would be

Herman's Hermit - No milk today

Video of Herman's Hermit singing "No milk today"

"No Milk Today" is a song that was written by Graham Gouldman and originally recorded by British pop band Herman's Hermits. It was first released as a single by the Mancunian group in the UK in October 1966 and, with the B-side "My Reservation's Been Confirmed", enjoyed chart success, peaking at #7. Although not released as a single in the US ("Dandy" was released in its place with the same B-side), it was popular enough to become a moderate hit when it was released there as the B-side to "There's a Kind of Hush", reaching #35 in 1967 (the A-side reaching #4).
The song, which is dominated by its downcast reflective verses and neatly complemented by its interjecting upbeat chorus, was the second major song Gouldman wrote for Herman's Hermits (the previous being "Listen People", a US #3).
The single is significant due to the fact that it was the first track for which the band employed an orchestra.

Later the song was recorded by Gouldman himself as the sole single (released with "The Impossible Years") from his 1968 debut album The Graham Gouldman Thing and, in 2006, it was included on the compilation album Greatest Hits... And More, released by Gouldman's own band 10cc.

Source: No Milk today (Wikipedia)

Patridge Family - I think I love you

Video of The Patridge Family singing "I think I love you"

"I Think I Love You" is a 1970 single by The Partridge Family, featuring David Cassidy. The song was released at the same time as the debut of the network television sitcom The Partridge Family. During the show's first season the song was featured on the show twice as it was climbing the actual Billboard charts. The song hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Pop Singles chart in November of that year. The only cast members of the television show to participate in the recording of the song were David Cassidy and Shirley Jones.
The actual music on the song was played by veteran studio musicians such as Hal Blaine, Larry Knechtel, Joe Osborne, Louie Shelton, Tommy Tedesco and others.

Cover versions

On November 25, 1970, the song was recorded by Perry Como, with Nick Perito's orchestra, at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The song was released by RCA Victor Records on an album, It's Impossible, catalog number LSP-4473, in December 1970, which was reissued in 1975 as catalog number AYL1-3804. RCA also released the recording on an EP in Mexico, as catalog number MKE-1352, in 1971.

In 1983, Ism's hardcore punk rendition of "I Think I Love You" topped the New Music charts at number six (compiled from a composite of radio, club and retail reports by CMJ New Music Report, June 6, 1983) however, the controversial artwork on the cover led to major record retailers banning the single for sale. Their 1983 debut album A Diet for the Worms also included the song and entered the number 65 slot on Progressive Radio's Top 100 (CMJ, New Music Report, January 16, 1984).

In 1991, alternative rock band Voice of the Beehive covered the song on their album Honey Lingers. Released as a single in the UK, their version hit number 25 on the UK Singles Chart.

In 1992, the group "Nice and Smooth" sampled the intro from the Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You" in their rap hit "Hip Hop Junkies".

Florida-based band Less Than Jake has also covered this song. In 1998 their version was included on the soundtrack to the film Scream 2.

Clam Abuse covered the song as the first proper song for their debut album "Stop Thinking" in 1999. A Recent re-issue also contains a remix of the cover.

American pop singer Kaci did a cover Released as a single in the UK, her version hit number 10 on the UK Singles Chart in 2002.

The version in spanish "Creo que te amo" by venezonald bandboys "Uff"
Paul Westerberg covered it in 2004, and in 2005, as did Constantine Maroulis and Katie Cassidy (David's daughter).

David Cassidy himself did a soul remake of the song in 2003 for the album Touch of Blue.

Declan Galbraith covered it in 2007 on his album, You and Me.

Source: I think I love you (Wikipedia)

The Supremes - Where did our love go

Video of The Supremes singing "Where did our love go"

"Where Did Our Love Go" is a 1964 hit song recorded by The Supremes for the Motown label. Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, "Where Did Our Love Go" was the first single by the Supremes to go to the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, a position it held for two weeks, from August 16 to August 29, 1964. It was also the first of five Supremes songs in a row to reach number one (the others are "Baby Love", "Come See About Me", "Stop! In the Name of Love", and "Back in My Arms Again").
This version was ranked #472 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time



Holland–Dozier–Holland had originally composed the song and prepared the instrumental track for The Marvelettes to record it. The Marvelettes rejected the song, thinking it childish, and H–D–H offered it to the Supremes, who by early 1964 had only one top-forty hit, When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes, and eight failed singles. Although the Supremes were apprehensive at first about the song, they decided that they really didn't have a choice in the matter.

Upon learning the Supremes had chosen to record "Where Did Our Love Go", the Marvelettes warned the girls to stand up for themselves and not just take anything H–D–H would give them. As a result, when the song was recorded on April 8, 1964, there was a bit of animosity on the part of the Supremes towards singing the song. Lamont Dozier was forced at one point to redo the arrangement of the background vocals, replacing the original, more complex backing with simple repetitions of the word "baby".

One of the most famous aspects of "Where Did Our Love Go" was its rhythm section, comprised primarily of footstomps. The sound effect was performed by an Italian-American teenager named Mike Valvano, who stomped down upon two wooden boards suspended by strings, to create the aural illusion of a group of foot-stompers. Handclaps were overdubbed for the 45 RPM single mix of the song.

Since the lead vocal was originally written to be sung by the Marvelettes' lead singer Gladys Horton, it was arranged in a register lower than the Supremes' lead singer Diana Ross' natural register. The resulting vocal track had a sensual appeal not present in Ross' earlier songs, and she elatedly rushed to Motown chief Berry Gordy's office, and dragged him to the basement studio at Hitsville U.S.A. to hear it. Upon hearing the finished song, Gordy remarked that the song had potential, possibly enough to make it to the top ten.

Release and reaction

"Where Did Our Love Go" was released as a single on June 17, 1964, and entered the Hot 100 at number seventy-seven. Six weeks later, while the Supremes were on tour as part of Dick Clark's "American Bandstand Caravan of Stars", the song made it to number one for two weeks. The girls began the tour at the bottom of the bill; by the conclusion of the tour, they were at the top.

The song became the focal point and title track of the group's second album, Where Did Our Love Go, released later that year. A German language version of the song was recorded by the Supremes for German-speaking markets overseas.

While not exactly a true cover, the melodic and chordal progressions of labelmates the Four Tops' "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" are very similar to those of "Where Did Our Love Go". "I Can't Help Myself" reached number one in 1965.


Lead vocals by Diana Ross
Background vocals by Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson
All instruments by the Funk Brothers
Footstomps by Mike Valvano

Source: Where did our love go (Wikipedia)

The Supremes - Stop in the name of love

Video of The Supremes singing "Stop in the name of love"

"Stop! In the Name of Love" clip (help·info) is a 1965 number-one single recorded by The Supremes for the Motown label. Written and produced by Motown's main production team Holland-Dozier-Holland, "Stop! In the Name of Love" held the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart from March 21, 1965 to April 3, 1965, and reached the number two position on the soul chart. The fourth of five Supremes songs in a row to go number one (the others are "Where Did Our Love Go", "Baby Love", "Come See About Me", and "Back in My Arms Again"), it is remembered as one of the most popular and well-known songs of the late 20th century.


The song had its origin in an argument Lamont Dozier had with his girlfriend; when she began to walk out the door, he yelled out "stop... in the name of love!" Both Dozier and his girlfriend began laughing and reconciled; and Dozier had the seed for the next song he would write for the Supremes.

The Supremes' choreography for this song, with one hand on the hip and the other outstretched in a "stop" gesture, is equally legendary. Paul Williams and Melvin Franklin of The Temptations taught the girls the routine backstage in London, before the Supremes' performance on the BBC television special The Sound of Motown, hosted by Dusty Springfield.

"Stop! In the Name of Love!" was recorded in January 1965. and released as a single on February 8. The song was included on the Supremes' sixth album, More Hits by the Supremes, and was nominated for the 1966 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Rock & Roll Group Vocal Performance, losing to "Flowers on the Wall" by the Statler Brothers. The song was also honored by inclusion in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's permanent collection of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
[edit]Cover versions and other uses

A cover version was later recorded by Gene Pitney, Nicki French, Globe, Claude François (as "Stop au nom de l'amour") and The Hollies (who saw UK chart success with the song in 1983).

Yukihiro Takahashi recorded a cover version on his 1980 album Murdered By The Music.
Rapper Lil Wayne sampled "Stop! In the Name of Love" for his 2007 single "Gossip".
The Disney Channel featured the song as a DTV music video set to clips from the cartoon shorts The Big Bad Wolf, Mickey's Delayed Date, and Lend a Paw.

A FoxTrot strip published in August 1993 has Paige singing the song, but mistakenly singing "Shop!" in place of "Stop!" Peter seemingly corrects her by continually repeating "Stop!" to her, but in actuality, he is demanding she stop singing entirely.

In the Fairly OddParents episode "Love Struck!", Timmy comes between the groups of males and females about to wage war on each other, yelling out the song's title.
On an episode of Good Times, "The Rent Party", which was the last episode with John Amos (James Evans), Willona, Thelma and Florida dressed up as The Supremes and performed the song during a rent party for a tenant.

A scene from an episode of The Steve Harvey Show featured Regina, Lovita, and Cedric's date Nikki singing the song at a karaoke bar.
A German version, titled "Was hab' ich Dir getan?" was recorded by the Jacob Sisters in 1966.

In 2003, on their Something Wrong album, the IcelandicTrip-Hop band Bang Gang recorded a version of the original song.

Source: Stop in the name of love (Wikipedia)

Boney M - Bahama Mama

Video of Boney M singing "Bahama Mama"

"I'm Born Again" / "Bahama Mama" is a double A-side single by German band Boney M. It was the second single off their fourth album Oceans of Fantasy (1979), not withcounting a promotional-only single release of "Let It All Be Music" and the album title track. Not as successful as previous singles, the ballad "I'm Born Again" peaked at #7 in Germany. In the UK, it stalled at No. 35 after 9 consecutive Top 20 singles. Boney M. would use the double A-side format over the next years, typically with the A1 being the song intended for radio and A2 being more squarely aimed at discos. The sides would usually be switched on the accompanying 12" single.

I'm Born Again

"I'm Born Again" was based on an Irish folksong 'Buachaill Ón Éirne', the lyrics reflecting lead singer Liz Mitchell's growing religious belief. The single featured a different and slightly longer mix than the album version.

Bahama Mama

This disco track was also featured in a slightly longer mix than the album pressings. The snarling, spoken passage in the middle (the voice of "Bahama Mama") was done by Linda Blake who had also done the voice of Ma Baker.

Source: Bahama Mama (Wikipedia)

Boney M - Belfast

"Belfast" is the second single off disco band Boney M.'s 1977 album Love for Sale. "Belfast" was the first Boney M. single to feature lead vocals by Marcia Barrett and became their 4th consecutive German chart-topper although it wasn't as successful in the UK as previous singles (it peaked at #8). It remained a popular track in the group's live shows over the years and was re-recorded by Marcia Barrett as a solo track on her album Come Into My Life (2005).

The Song

Penned by Drafi Deutscher and originally entitled "Londonderry", "Belfast" had been written for Marcia Barrett from her time as a solo artist in the early 1970s. Due to shortage of own material when Boney M. did their first live gigs, Marcia Barrett performed the song which had been a popular live track for her and thereby gave Farian the idea to record it. Due to its rockier feel and political lyrics ("when the hate you have for one another's past"), Farian however wasn't intending to use it for Boney M. in the first place, and instead had his other artist Gilla record a version of it in German which was released on her album Zieh mich aus, December 1976. A German test pressing of Love for Sale excludes the track and indicates that it was only added to the album in the last hour due to Marcia Barrett's insistence. In the US and Canada, the song was never released and was replaced by "Daddy Cool" on the album.

Boney M - Brown Girl in the Ring

Video of Boney M singing "Brown girl in the ring"

Lyrics for the song "Brown girl in the ring" by Boney M

Brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la
There's a brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la la
Brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la
She looks like a sugar in a plum
Plum plum

Show me your motion
Tra la la la la
Come on show me your motion
Tra la la la la la
Show me your motion
Tra la la la la
She looks like a sugar in a plum
Plum plum

All had water run dry
Got nowhere to wash my cloths
All had water run dry
Got nowhere to wash my cloths

I remember one Saturday night
We had fried fish and Johnny-cakes
I remember one Saturday night
We had fried fish and Johnny-cakes


Brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la
There's a brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la la
Brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la
She looks like a sugar in a plum
Plum plum

Show me your motion
Tra la la la la
Come on show me your motion
Tra la la la la la
Show me your motion
Tra la la la la
She looks like a sugar in a plum
Plum plum

All had water run dry
Got nowhere to wash my cloths
All had water run dry
Got nowhere to wash my cloths

I remember one Saturday night
We had fried fish and Johnny-cakes
I remember one Saturday night
We had fried fish and Johnny-cakes


Brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la
See, brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la la
Brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la
She looks like a sugar in a plum
Plum plum

All had water run dry
Got nowhere to wash my cloths
All had water run dry
Got nowhere to wash my cloths

Brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la
Look that brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la la
Brown girl in the ring
Tra la la la la
She looks like a sugar in a plum
Plum plum

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Playing for change - War/No more trouble

This is the fourth musical video from "Playing for change" (Song around the world) titled War/No more trouble:

The above video is a collaboration among these singers and musicians around the world:

David Broza, Tel Aviv, Isreal
Jason Tamba Matondo, Congo
Jimi Indi Phiri and Louis Mhlanga, Johannesburg, South Africa
Biziko, Congo
Tshotsho Fikisi, Congo
Rocky Dawuni, Ghana
Mermans Kenkosenki, Congo
Bono, Dublin, Ireland
Kevin Moore II, Venice Beach, California
Punya Srinivas, Chennai, India
The Oneness Choir, Varadayapalem, India
The Omagh Community Youth Choir, Omagh, Northern Ireland
Radwin Nizar, Arab/Jewish Orchestra
Cathy Jordan, Sligo, Ireland
Abonwabisi Choir, Cape Town, South Africa
Saroja, Chennai, India
Venkat, Varadayapalem, India
Ramzi Bishara, Nazareth, Isreal

Lyrics for the song "War/No more trouble" by Playing for change

These lyrics are from best efforts. Please leave corrections in the comments:

Until the philosophy which hold one race is superior than another
Inferior, yes finally, and permanent, discredited, and abandoned
Or everywhere is war
Say war
Congo sees war
Until there are no more first class,
second class citizens
of any nations
Until the color of man skin
is of no more significance than the color of his eyes
Everywhere is war
Everywhere is war
Gimme the brother
Destroy the country
Or nothing
We don't need no more war
Some winning, some losing, some dying, some crying, some sick
We don't need no more trouble
We don't need no more
We don't need no more trouble
We don't need no more trouble

we don't need no more trouble
We don't need no more trouble
What we need is love
To guide us and protect us all
If you hope to come from above
Do you get to stop the war
Hmm hemmm

We don't need no more trouble
We don't need no more trouble

Monday, April 27, 2009

Johnny Cash according to Wikipedia

Johnny Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932–September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Primarily a country music artist, his songs and sound spanned many other genres including rockabilly and rock and roll (especially early in his career), as well as blues, folk and gospel.

Cash was known for his deep, distinctive bass-baritone voice, the "chicka-boom" freight train sound of his Tennessee Three backing band, his demeanor, and his dark clothing, which earned him the nickname "The Man in Black". He traditionally started his concerts with the introduction "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash".

Much of Cash's music, especially that of his later career, echoed themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption. His signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Folsom Prison Blues", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm", "Hurt" and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous songs, such as "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue", a duet with June Carter called "Jackson", as well as railroad songs such as "Hey Porter" and "Rock Island Line."


Johnny Cash was of Scottish royal descent but he learned this only upon researching his ancestry.[1] After a chance meeting with former Falkland laird, Major Michael Crichton-Stuart, he traced the Cash family tree to 11th century Fife, Scotland.[2][3][4] Scotland's Cash Loch bears the name of his family.[2]
He had believed in his younger days that he was mainly Irish and partially Native American (he had been told he was one-quarter Cherokee). Even after learning he had no Native American ancestry, Cash's empathy and compassion for Native Americans was unabated. These feelings were expressed in several of his songs, including "Apache Tears" and "The Ballad of Ira Hayes", and on his album, Bitter Tears.

Early life

Johnny Cash was born J. R. Cash in Kingsland, Arkansas to Ray and Carrie (née Rivers) Cash, and raised in Dyess, Arkansas.

Cash was reportedly given the name "J.R." because his parents could not agree on a name, only on initials[citation needed]. When he enlisted in the United States Air Force, the military would not accept initials as his name, so he adopted John R. Cash as his legal name. In 1955, when signing with Sun Records, he took Johnny Cash as his stage name. His friends and in-laws generally called him John, while his blood relatives usually continued to call him J.R.

Cash was one of seven children: Jack, Joanne Cash Yates, Louise Garrett, Reba Hancock, Roy, and Tommy[5][6]. His younger brother, Tommy Cash, also became a successful country artist.

By the age of five, J.R. was working in the cotton fields, singing along with his family as they worked. The family farm was flooded on at least one occasion, which later inspired him to write the song "Five Feet High and Rising".[7] His family's economic and personal struggles during the Depression inspired many of his songs, especially those about other people facing similar difficulties.

Cash was very close to his brother Jack, who was two years older. In 1944, Jack was pulled into a whirling table saw in the mill where he worked, and cut almost in two. He suffered for over a week before he died.[7] Cash often spoke of the horrible guilt he felt over this incident. According to Cash: The Autobiography, his father was away that morning, but he and his mother, and Jack himself, all had premonitions or a sense of foreboding about that day, causing his mother to urge Jack to skip work and go fishing with his brother. Jack insisted on working, as the family needed the money. On his deathbed, Jack said he had visions of heaven and angels. Decades later, Cash spoke of looking forward to meeting his brother in heaven. He wrote that he had seen his brother many times in his dreams, and that Jack always looked two years older than whatever age Cash himself was at that moment.

Cash's early memories were dominated by gospel music and radio. Taught by his mother and a childhood friend, Johnny began playing guitar and writing songs as a young boy. In high school he sang on a local radio station; decades later he released an album of traditional gospel songs, called My Mother's Hymn Book. He was also significantly influenced by traditional Irish music that he heard performed weekly by Dennis Day on the Jack Benny radio program.

Cash enlisted in the United States Air Force. After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base and technical training at Brooks Air Force Base, both in San Antonio, Texas, Cash was assigned to a U.S. Air Force Security Service unit, assigned as a morse code decoder on Russian Army transmissions, at Landsberg, Germany. On July 3, 1954, he was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant. Then, he returned to Texas.

Vivian Liberto

On July 18, 1951, while in Air Force training, Cash met 17 year-old Vivian Liberto (born April 23, 1934, San Antonio, Texas – died May 24, 2005, Ventura, California) at a roller skating rink in her native San Antonio, Texas. They dated for three weeks, until Cash was deployed to Germany for a three year tour. During that time, the couple exchanged hundreds of pages of love letters.

On August 7, 1954, one month after his discharge, they were married at St. Anne's Catholic church in San Antonio. They had four daughters: Rosanne (born May 24, 1955), Kathy (born April 16, 1956), Cindy (born July 29, 1958), and Tara (born August 24, 1961). But Cash's drug and alcohol abuse, constant touring, and affairs with other women (including future wife June Carter) led Liberto to file for divorce in 1966.

June Carter

In 1968, 12 years after they had first met backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, Cash proposed to June Carter, an established country singer, during a live performance in London, Ontario,[9] marrying on March 1, 1968 in Franklin, Kentucky. He had proposed numerous times, but she had always refused. They had only one child together, John Carter Cash (born March 3, 1970). They continued to work together, and tour, for thirty-five years, until June Carter died in 2003. Cash died less than four months after. Carter co-wrote one of his biggest hits, 'Ring of Fire', and they together won two Grammy awards for their duets. Vivian Liberto claims a different version of the origins of 'Ring of Fire' in Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny, stating that Cash gave Carter the credit for monetary reasons.


Early career

In 1954, Johnny and Vivian moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he sold appliances while studying to be a radio announcer. At night he played with guitarist Luther Perkins and bassist Marshall Grant. Perkins and Grant were known as the Tennessee Two. Cash worked up the courage to visit the Sun Records studio, hoping to get a recording contract. After auditioning for Sam Phillips, singing mostly gospel songs, Phillips told him to "go home and sin, then come back with a song I can sell." Cash eventually won over Phillips with new songs delivered in his early frenetic style. His first recordings at Sun, "Hey Porter" and "Cry Cry Cry", were released in 1955 and met with reasonable success on the country hit parade.

Cash's next record, "Folsom Prison Blues", made the country Top 5, and "I Walk the Line" became No. 1 on the country charts and entered the pop charts Top 20. Following "I Walk the Line" was "Home of the Blues", recorded in July 1957. That same year Cash became the first Sun artist to release a long-playing album. Although he was Sun's most consistently best-selling and prolific artist at that time, Cash felt constrained by his contract with the small label. Elvis Presley had already left Sun, and Phillips was focusing most of his attention and promotion on Jerry Lee Lewis. The following year Cash left the label to sign a lucrative offer with Columbia Records, where his single "Don't Take Your Guns to Town" became one of his biggest hits.
In the early 1960s, Cash toured with the Carter Family, which by this time regularly included Mother Maybelle's daughters, Anita, June and Helen. June, whom Cash would eventually marry, later recalled admiring Johnny from afar during these tours.

Outlaw image

As his career was taking off in the early 1960s, Cash started drinking heavily and became addicted to amphetamines and barbiturates. For a brief time, he shared an apartment in Nashville with Waylon Jennings, who was heavily addicted to amphetamines. Cash used the uppers to stay awake during tours. Friends joked about his "nervousness" and erratic behavior, many ignoring the warning signs of his worsening drug addiction. In a behind the scenes look at The Johnny Cash Show, Cash claims to have "tried every drug there was to try."

Although in many ways spiraling out of control, Cash's frenetic creativity was still delivering hits. His rendition of "Ring of Fire" was a crossover hit, reaching No. 1 on the country charts and entering the Top 20 on the pop charts. The song was written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore. The song was originally performed by Carter's sister, but the signature mariachi-style horn arrangement was provided by Cash, who said that it had come to him in a dream.

In June 1965, his truck caught fire due to an overheated wheel bearing, triggering a forest fire that burnt several hundred acres in Los Padres National Forest in California. When the judge asked Cash why he did it, Cash said, "I didn't do it, my truck did, and it's dead, so you can't question it."[7] The fire destroyed 508 acres (2.06 km2), burning the foliage off three mountains and killing 49 of the refuge's 53 endangered condors. Cash was unrepentant: "I don't care about your damn yellow buzzards." The federal government sued him and was awarded $125,172. Johnny eventually settled the case and paid $82,001. Cash said he was the only person ever sued by the government for starting a forest fire.

Although Cash carefully cultivated a romantic outlaw image, he never served a prison sentence. Despite landing in jail seven times for misdemeanors, each stay lasted only a single night. His most infamous run-in with the law occurred while on tour in 1965, when he was arrested by a narcotics squad in El Paso, Texas. The officers suspected that he was smuggling heroin from Mexico, but it was prescription narcotics and amphetamines that the singer had hidden inside his guitar case. Because they were prescription drugs rather than illegal narcotics, he received a suspended sentence.

Johnny Cash and his second wife, June

Cash was also arrested on May 11, 1965, in Starkville, Mississippi, for trespassing late at night onto private property to pick flowers. (This incident gave the spark for the song "Starkville City Jail", which he spoke about on his live At San Quentin prison album.)

In the mid 1960s, Cash released a number of concept albums, including Ballads Of the True West (1965), an experimental double record mixing authentic frontier songs with Cash's spoken narration, and Bitter Tears (1964), with songs highlighting the plight of the Native Americans. His drug addiction was at its worst at this point, and his destructive behavior led to a divorce from his first wife and canceled performances.
In 1967, Cash's duet with Carter, "Jackson", won a Grammy Award.

Cash quit using drugs in 1968, after a spiritual epiphany in the Nickajack Cave, when he attempted to commit suicide while under the heavy influence of drugs. He descended deeper into the cave, trying to lose himself and "just die", when he passed out on the floor. He reported to be exhausted and feeling at the end of his rope when he felt God's presence in his heart and managed to struggle out of the cave (despite the exhaustion) by following a faint light and slight breeze. To him, it was his own rebirth. June, Maybelle, and Ezra Carter moved into Cash's mansion for a month to help him defeat his addiction. Cash proposed onstage to June at a concert at the London Gardens in London, Ontario on February 22, 1968; the couple married a week later (on March 1) in Franklin, Kentucky. June had agreed to marry Cash after he had 'cleaned up'.[11] Rediscovering his Christian faith, taking an "altar call" in Evangel Temple, a small church in the Nashville area, Cash chose this church over many larger celebrity churches in the Nashville area because he said that there he was treated like just another parishioner and not a celebrity.

Folsom Prison Blues

Cash felt great compassion for prisoners. He began performing concerts at various prisons starting in the late 1960s.[7] These performances led to a pair of highly successful live albums, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968) and Johnny Cash at San Quentin (1969).

The Folsom Prison record was introduced by a rendition of his classic "Folsom Prison Blues", while the San Quentin record included the crossover hit single "A Boy Named Sue", a Shel Silverstein-penned novelty song that reached No. 1 on the country charts and No. 2 on the U.S. Top Ten pop charts. The AM versions of the latter contained a couple of profanities which were edited out. The modern CD versions are unedited and uncensored and thus also longer than the original vinyl albums, though they still retain the audience reaction overdubs of the originals.

In addition to his performances at U.S. prisons, Cash also performed at the Österåker Prison in Sweden in 1972. The live album På Österåker ("At Österåker") was released in 1973. Between the songs, Cash can be heard speaking Swedish, which was greatly appreciated by the inmates.

"The Man in Black"

Cash advocated prison reform at his July 1972 meeting with United States President Richard Nixon.

From 1969 to 1971, Cash starred in his own television show, The Johnny Cash Show, on the ABC network. The Statler Brothers opened up for him in every episode; the Carter Family and rockabilly legend Carl Perkins were also part of the regular show entourage. However, Cash also enjoyed booking more contemporary performers as guests; such notables included Neil Young, Louis Armstrong, Kenny Rogers and The First Edition (who appeared a record four times on his show), James Taylor, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton (then leading Derek and the Dominos), and Bob Dylan.

Cash had met with Dylan in the mid 1960s and became closer friends when they were neighbors in the late 1960s in Woodstock, New York. Cash was enthusiastic about reintroducing the reclusive Dylan to his audience. Cash sang a duet with Dylan on Dylan's country album Nashville Skyline and also wrote the album's Grammy-winning liner notes.

Another artist who received a major career boost from The Johnny Cash Show was songwriter Kris Kristofferson, who was beginning to make a name for himself as a singer/songwriter. During a live performance of Kristofferson's "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down", Cash refused to change the lyrics to suit network executives, singing the song with its references to marijuana intact: "On a Sunday morning sidewalk / I'm wishin', Lord, that I was stoned."

By the early 1970s, he had crystallized his public image as "The Man in Black". He regularly performed dressed all in black, wearing a long black knee-length coat. This outfit stood in contrast to the costumes worn by most of the major country acts in his day: rhinestone suit and cowboy boots. In 1971, Cash wrote the song "Man in Black", to help explain his dress code: "We're doing mighty fine I do suppose/In our streak of lightning cars and fancy clothes/But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back/Up front there ought to be a man in black."

He and his band had initially worn black shirts because that was the only matching color they had among their various outfits.[7] He wore other colors on stage early in his career, but he claimed to like wearing black both on and off stage. He stated that, political reasons aside, he simply liked black as his on-stage color.[7] To this day, the United States Navy's winter blue service uniform is referred to by sailors as "Johnny Cashes," as the uniform's shirt, tie, and trousers are solid black.

In the mid 1970s, Cash's popularity and number of hit songs began to decline, but his autobiography (the first of two), titled Man in Black, was published in 1975 and sold 1.3 million copies. A second, Cash: The Autobiography, appeared in 1997. His friendship with Billy Graham led to the production of a movie about the life of Jesus, The Gospel Road, which Cash co-wrote and narrated. The decade saw his religious conviction deepening, and he made many evangelical appearances.
He also continued to appear on television, hosting an annual Christmas special on CBS throughout the 1970s. Later television appearances included a role in an episode of Columbo. He also appeared with his wife on an episode of Little House on the Prairie entitled "The Collection" and gave a performance as John Brown in the 1985 Civil War television mini-series North and South.

He was friendly with every United States President starting with Richard Nixon. He was closest with Jimmy Carter, who became a very close friend.[7] He stated that he found all of them personally charming, noting that this was probably essential to getting oneself elected.

When invited to perform at the White House for the first time in 1972, President Richard Nixon's office requested that he play "Okie from Muskogee" (a satirical Merle Haggard song about people who despised youthful drug users and war protesters) and "Welfare Cadillac" (a Guy Drake song that derides the integrity of welfare recipients). Cash declined to play either song and instead played a series of more left-leaning, politically charged songs, including "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" (about a brave Native-American World War II veteran who was mistreated upon his return to Arizona), and his own compositions, "What is Truth?" and "Man in Black". Cash claimed that the reasons for denying Nixon's song choices were not knowing them and having fairly short notice to rehearse them, rather than any political reason.


From left to right Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, who formed the country music supergroup, The Highwaymen
In 1980, Cash became the Country Music Hall of Fame's youngest living inductee at age forty-eight, but during the 1980s his records failed to make a major impact on the country charts, although he continued to tour successfully. In the mid 1980s, he recorded and toured with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Kris Kristofferson as The Highwaymen, making two hit albums.

During this period, Cash appeared as an actor in a number of television films. In 1981, he starred in The Pride of Jesse Hallam. Cash won fine reviews for his work in this film that called attention to adult illiteracy. Also in 1981, Cash appeared as the 'very special guest star' in an episode of the Muppet Show. In 1983, Cash appeared as a heroic sheriff in Murder In Coweta County, which co-starred Andy Griffith as his nemesis. This film was based on a real-life Georgia murder case. Cash had tried for years to make the film, for which he won acclaim.

Cash relapsed into addiction after being administered painkillers for a serious abdominal injury in 1983 caused by an unusual incident in which he was kicked and wounded by an ostrich he kept on his farm.

At a hospital visit in 1988, this time to watch over Waylon Jennings (who was recovering from a heart attack), Jennings suggested that Cash have himself checked into the hospital for his own heart condition. Doctors recommended preventive heart surgery, and Cash underwent double bypass surgery in the same hospital. Both recovered, although Cash refused to use any prescription painkillers, fearing a relapse into dependency. Cash later claimed that during his operation, he had what is called a "near death experience". He said he had visions of Heaven that were so beautiful that he was angry when he woke up alive.

Cash's recording career and his general relationship with the Nashville establishment were at an all-time low in the 1980s. He realized that his record label of nearly 30 years, Columbia, was growing indifferent to him and wasn't properly marketing him (he was "invisible" during that time, as he said in his autobiography). Cash recorded an intentionally awful song to protest, a self-parody. "Chicken in Black" was about Johnny's brain being transplanted into a chicken. Ironically, the song turned out to be a larger commercial success than any of his other recent material. Nevertheless, he was hoping to kill the relationship with the label before they did, and it was not long after "Chicken in Black" that Columbia and Cash parted ways.

In 1986, Cash returned to Sun Studios in Memphis to team up with Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins to create the album Class of '55. This was not the first time he had teamed up with Lewis and Perkins at Sun Studios. On December 4, 1956, Elvis Presley dropped in on Phillips to pay a social visit while Perkins was in the studio cutting new tracks, with Lewis backing him on piano. Cash was also in the studio and the four started an impromptu jam session. Phillips left the tapes running and the recordings, almost half of which were gospel songs, survived and have been released on CD under the title Million Dollar Quartet. Tracks also include Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man", Pat Boone's "Don't Forbid Me", and Elvis doing an impersonation of Jackie Wilson (who was then with Billy Ward and the Dominoes) singing "Don't Be Cruel".

In 1986, Cash published his only novel, Man in White, a book about Saul and his conversion to become the Apostle Paul. He also recorded Johnny Cash Reads The Complete New Testament in 1990.

American Recordings

Johnny Cash sings a duet with a Navy lieutenant c.1987.
After Columbia Records dropped Cash from his recording contract, he had a short and unsuccessful stint with Mercury Records from 1987 to 1991 (see Johnny Cash discography).

In 1991, Cash sang lead vocals on a cover version of "Man in Black" for the Christian punk band One Bad Pig's album I Scream Sunday.

His career was rejuvenated in the 1990s, leading to popularity among a younger audience not traditionally interested in country music. In 1993, he sang the vocal on U2's "The Wanderer" for their album Zooropa. Although he was no longer sought after by major labels, Cash was approached by producer Rick Rubin and offered a contract with Rubin's American Recordings label, better known for rap and hard rock.

Under Rubin's supervision, he recorded the album American Recordings (1994) in his living room, accompanied only by his guitar. That guitar was a Martin dreadnought guitar - one of many Cash played throughout his career.[15] The album featured several covers of contemporary artists selected by Rubin and had much critical and commercial success, winning a Grammy for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Cash wrote that his reception at the 1994 Glastonbury Festival was one of the highlights of his career. This was the beginning of a decade of music industry accolades and surprising commercial success.

Cash and his wife appeared on a number of episodes of the popular television series Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman starring Jane Seymour. The actress thought so highly of Cash that she later named one of her twin sons after him. He lent his voice for a cartoon cameo in an episode of The Simpsons, with his voice as that of a coyote that guides Homer on a spiritual quest. In 1996, Cash released a sequel to American Recordings, Unchained, and enlisted the accompaniment of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which won a Grammy for Best Country Album. Cash, believing he did not explain enough of himself in his 1975 autobiography Man in Black, wrote another autobiography in 1997 entitled Cash: The Autobiography.

Last years and death

In 1997, Cash was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease Shy-Drager syndrome. The diagnosis was later altered to autonomic neuropathy associated with diabetes. This illness forced Cash to curtail his touring. He was hospitalized in 1998 with severe pneumonia, which damaged his lungs. The albums American III: Solitary Man (2000) and American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002) contained Cash's response to his illness in the form of songs of a slightly more somber tone than the first two American albums. The video that was released for "Hurt", a cover of the song by Nine Inch Nails, fit Cash's view of his past and feelings of regret. The video for the song, from American IV, is now generally recognized as "his epitaph,"[16] and received particular critical and popular acclaim.

June Carter Cash died on May 15, 2003, at the age of seventy-three. June had told Cash to keep working, so he continued to record and even performed a couple of surprise shows at the Carter Family Fold outside Bristol, Virginia. At the July 5th, 2003 concert (his last public performance), before singing "Ring of Fire", Cash read a statement about his late wife that he had written shortly before taking the stage:
“ The spirit of June Carter overshadows me tonight with the love she had for me and the love I have for her. We connect somewhere between here and heaven. She came down for a short visit, I guess, from heaven to visit with me tonight to give me courage and inspiration like she always has.”

Despite his poor health, he spoke of looking forward to the day when he could walk again and toss his wheelchair into the river near his home.

Johnny Cash died less than four months after his wife, on September 12, 2003, while hospitalized at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He was buried next to his wife in Hendersonville Memory Gardens near his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
On May 24, 2005, Vivian Liberto, Cash's first wife and the mother of Rosanne Cash, and three other daughters, died from surgery to remove lung cancer. It was Rosanne Cash's fiftieth birthday.

His stepdaughter, Rosie (Nix) Adams and another passenger were found dead on a bus in Montgomery County, Tennessee, on October 24, 2003. It was speculated that the deaths may have been caused by carbon monoxide from the lanterns in the bus. Adams was 45 when she died. She was buried in the Hendersonville Memorial Gardens, Hendersonville, Tennessee, near her mother and stepfather.

In June 2005, his lakeside home on Caudill Drive in Hendersonville, Tennessee, went up for sale by the Cash estate. In January 2006, the house was sold to Bee Gees vocalist Barry Gibb and wife Linda Gibb and titled in their Florida limited liability company for $2.3 million. The listing agent was Cash's younger brother, Tommy Cash. The home was destroyed by fire on April 10, 2007.

One of Johnny Cash's final collaborations with producer Rick Rubin, entitled American V: A Hundred Highways, was released posthumously on July 4, 2006. The album debuted in the #1 position on Billboard Magazines Top 200 album chart for the week ending July 22, 2006. Enough of Cash's music was left to put together a posthumous album which he had helped plan.[citation needed] The album, American VI, is supposedly planned for release sometime in 2009.


From his early days as a pioneer of rockabilly and rock and roll in the 1950s, to his decades as an international representative of country music, to his resurgence to fame in the 1990s as a living legend and an alternative country icon, Cash influenced countless artists and left a large body of work. Upon his death, Cash was revered by the greatest popular musicians of his time.

Among Johnny Cash's children, his daughter Rosanne Cash (by first wife Vivian Liberto) and his son John Carter Cash (by June Carter Cash) are notable country-music musicians in their own right.

Cash nurtured and defended artists on the fringes of what was acceptable in country music even while serving as the country music establishment's most visible symbol. At an all-star TNT concert in 1999, a diverse group of artists paid him tribute, including Bob Dylan, Chris Isaak, Wyclef Jean, Norah Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, and U2. Cash himself appeared at the end and performed for the first time in more than a year. Two tribute albums were released shortly before his death; Kindred Spirits contains works from established artists, while Dressed in Black contains works from many lesser-known artists.

In total, he wrote over a thousand songs and released dozens of albums. A box set titled Unearthed was issued posthumously. It included four CDs of unreleased material recorded with Rubin as well as a Best of Cash on American retrospective CD.
In recognition of his lifelong support of SOS Children's Villages, his family invited friends and fans to donate to that charity in his memory. He had a personal link with the SOS village in Diessen, at the Ammersee-Lake in Southern Germany, near where he was stationed as a GI, and also with the SOS village in Barrett Town, by Montego Bay, near his holiday home in Jamaica.[20] The Johnny Cash Memorial Fund was founded.[21]
In 1999, Cash received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Johnny Cash[22] #31 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

In a tribute to Cash after his death, country music singer Gary Allan included the song "Nickajack Cave (Johnny Cash's Redemption)" on his 2005 album entitled Tough All Over. The song chronicles Cash hitting rock bottom and subsequently resurrecting his life and career.

The main street in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Highway 31E, is known as "Johnny Cash Parkway".

The Johnny Cash Museum is located in Woodmere, NY on Felter Avenue. The owner of the museum is currently attempting to get the street renamed in honor of Johnny Cash.
On November 2–4, 2007 the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival was held in Starkville, Mississippi. Starkville, where Cash was arrested over 40 years earlier and held overnight at the city jail on May 11, 1965, inspired Cash to write the song "Starkville City Jail". The festival, where he was offered a symbolic posthumous pardon, honored Cash's life and music, and was expected to become an annual event.

Source: Johnny Cash (Wikipedia)

Johnny Cash - A boy named Sue

"A Boy Named Sue" is a country song, written by Shel Silverstein and popularly sung by Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash was at the height of his popularity when he recorded this song live at San Quentin State Prison in California. The concert was recorded for broadcast by Granada Television on February 24, 1969 and for the Johnny Cash At San Quentin album. The song became Cash's biggest hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, spending three weeks at #2 in 1969; it also topped the country music and adult contemporary charts that same year.

Plot and reaction

It tells the preposterous yet moving tale of a young man's quest for revenge on an absent father whose only contribution to his entire life was naming him Sue, commonly a feminine name. The name was the cause of endless ridicule as the young man was growing up. As the years went on, Sue grew big, strong and fearsome from all the fights he got into with bullies.

At the climax of the song, Sue finds and confronts his father, and the two get into a vicious brawl. After the two have beaten each other almost senseless, Sue's father admits that the name was given to him as an act of love: because he knew he would not be there for his son, Sue's father gave him that name to make sure that he grew up strong. Learning this, Sue forgives his father and they have an emotional reconciliation.

With his lesson learned, Sue closes the song with an announcement: "And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him . . . Bill or George, any damn thing but Sue! I still hate that name!"

The song has an unusual A-A-C B-B-C rhyme scheme, broken only to mark the dramatic midpoint and comic ending, and is full of vivid images such as "he kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile". The song is mostly recitation rather than conventional singing.

Years later Silverstein wrote a follow-up named "The Father of a Boy Named Sue" in which he tells the old man's point of view of the story.


Late 1960s public decorum being what it was, the line "I'm the son-of-a-bitch that named you Sue!" was censored in the radio version, and the final line was edited to take out the "damn". Both the edited and unedited versions are available on various CDs.


The core story of the song was inspired by humorist Jean Shepherd, a close friend of Shel Silverstein who was often taunted as a child because of his feminine-sounding name.

The title might have been inspired by the male attorney Sue K. Hicks of Madisonville, Tennessee, a friend of John Scopes who agreed to be a prosecutor in the Scopes Trial. Sue was named after his mother who died after giving birth to him.[4] However, while this may have inspired Silverstein to write the poem, there may have been another reason why Johnny Cash recorded it. Johnny Cash was a fan of popular western novelist, Zane Grey, whose first name at birth was "Pearl".

In his autobiography [5] Cash wrote that he had just received the song and only read over it a couple of times. It was included in that concert to try it out; he didn't know the words. (He can be seen on the video regularly referring to a piece of paper.) He was surprised at how well the song went over with the audience – which is why this rough, spontaneous performance with sparse accompaniment was included in the Johnny Cash At San Quentin album, ultimately becoming one of Cash's biggest hits.

Akon (Aliaune Thiam) according to Wikipedia

Aliaune Thiam (born April 30, 1973),[1] better known by his stage name Akon (pronounced /ˈeɪkɒn/)[2], is a American R&B singer-songwriter, and record producer, of Senegalese origin. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up” the first single from his debut album Trouble. His second album, Konvicted, earned him a Grammy Award nomination for the single "Smack That." He has since founded two record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution.

Akon often sings hooks for other artists and is currently accredited with over 155 guest appearances and 23 Billboard Hot 100 songs. He is the first solo artist to accomplish the feat of holding both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice.


Akon’s full name is, Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam.[4] However he is often credited as Aliaune Thiam.[5][6] His name is sometimes shortened as Aliaune Badara Thiam or Alioune Badara Thiam.[7] claims that this middle name has never been independently verified.[8] In addition, some media institutions have incorrectly reported that he was born in 1981. Sources such as the AP have indicated he was born in 1973. Legal documents released by The Smoking Gun list his name as Aliaune Damala Thiam and date of birth as 1973-04-30[9] or 1973-04-16.[10] According to the Smoking Gun article, "By all indications, he was born April 16, 1973."[11] When asked his age during an interview with VIBE, Akon reportedly responded, "The only thing I hide is my age... before I lie to you, I'd rather say nothing."

Early life

As the son of famed Senegalese percussionist Mor Thiam, Akon was raised in a musical setting and taught to play several instruments. At the age of 7, he spent time between America and Senegal until he was 15, then he moved permanently to Jersey City, New Jersey.[12] He recorded his first song, "Operations of Nature", at the age of fifteen.

During Akon’s alleged time in jail for 12 years, he began to understand his music abilities and developed an appreciation for his musical background. Akon's unique blend of West African-style, skills and moves eventually caught the ears of executives at Universal. Akon began writing and recording tracks in his home studio. The tapes found their way to SRC/Universal, which released Akon's debut LP Trouble in June 2004. The album is a hybrid of Akon's silky, West African-styled vocals mixed with East Coast and Southern beats. Most of Akon's songs begin with the sound of the clank of a jail cell's door with him uttering the word "Konvict".

Personal life

Akon is a Muslim,[14] as he explains he has never drunk alcohol or smoked due to his faith. He has also been rumored to have three wives, however the actual figure is unknown. He claims to have five children with three different women in an interview with Blender.[15] He states that his religion made him a better person, and provides guidance to how he acts among others in life.

He also has his own charity for underprivileged children in Africa called Konfidence Foundation.[17] Akon owns a diamond mine in South Africa and denies the existence of conflict diamonds (Otherwise casually referred to as 'blood diamonds'), saying, "I don't even believe in conflict diamonds. That's just a movie. Think about it. Ain't nobody thought about nothing about no conflict diamonds until the movie came out."[18] He also allegedly had a previous occupation as a drug dealer but has stated in interviews that he's never used drugs, though some of his lyrics would suggest otherwise. Despite his alleged criminal history, he proclaims that he has turned his life around.


2004–05: Debut: Trouble

Akon's solo debut album, Trouble was released on June 29, 2004. It spawned the singles "Locked Up" and "Lonely", "Belly Dancer (Bananza)", "Pot Of Gold", and "Ghetto." The album was the first release of his new record label Konvict Music. The inspiration for his debut single allegedly came from his three-year sting in prison for ‘grand theft auto’.[5] "Locked Up" reached the top 10 in the U.S. and the top five in the UK. "Ghetto" became a radio hit when it was remixed by Green Lantern to include verses from rappers 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G.

In 2005, he released the single "Lonely" (which samples Bobby Vinton's "Mr. Lonely"). The song reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100, and topped the charts in Australia, the UK and Germany. His album also climbed to number one in the UK in April, 2005. When music channel The Box had a top ten weekly chart, which was calculated by the amount of video requests, Akon's "Lonely" became the longest running single on the top of the chart, spanning over fifteen weeks. Akon then released another single featuring with a New Zealand rapper, Savage with the single Moonshine, which had become a success in both New Zealand and Australia, becoming number one in the New Zealand charts. In 2005, He made his first critically acclaimed guest appearance on Young Jeezy's debut album, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, with the song "Soul Survivor." In December the same year his manager, Robert Montanez was killed in a shooting after a dispute in New Jersey.

2006–08: Konvicted

Akon performing with Gwen Stefani on The Sweet Escape Tour.

Akon's second album, Konvicted was released on November 14, 2006. It included collaborations with Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Styles P. The first single "Smack That" featuring Eminem was released in August 2006 and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks. "I Wanna Love You," (featuring Snoop Dogg) was the second single released in September, it would go on to earn Akon his first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, and Snoop's second. "I Wanna Love You" topped the U.S. charts for two consecutive weeks. In January 2007, a third single "Don't Matter" which earned him his first solo number one and second consecutive Hot 100 chart topper was released. "Mama Africa" was released as a European single in July 2007, making it the fourth overall single from the album reaching just 47 in the UK.

To coincide with the release of the Platinum (deluxe) edition of the album "Sorry, Blame It on Me" was the album's fifth single, debuted in August 2007 on the Hot 100 at number seven. The deluxe version was fully released on August 28, 2007. The final single was confirmed by Akon to be "Never Took the Time."[19] Konvicted debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 286,000 copies in its first week. After only six weeks, Konvicted sold more than one million records in the U.S. and more than 1.3 million worldwide. The album was certified platinum after seven weeks, and after sixteen weeks it was certified double platinum. It stayed in the top twenty of the Billboard 200 for 28 consecutive weeks and peaked at number two on four different occasions. On November 20, 2007, the RIAA certified the album ‘triple platinum’ with 3 million units sold in the US. It has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide.
On October 5, 2006, Akon broke a record on the Hot 100, as he achieved the largest climb in the chart's 48-year-history with "Smack That" jumping from number 95 to 7. The leap was fueled by its number six debut on Hot Digital Songs with 67,000 downloads. The record has since been broken several times. In December 2006, Akon's "Smack That" was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards, but lost to Justin Timberlake and T.I.'s "My Love".
Projects with other artists

In 2006, Akon started his new record label Kon Live Distribution under Interscope Records. His first signed artist was Ray Lavender.
He was featured on Gwen Stefani's latest album, The Sweet Escape. He made an appearance on the title track and second single, "The Sweet Escape." Akon produced the song. On December 10, 2006, Akon and Stefani appeared as musical guests on Saturday Night Live, however they did not perform the song as Stefani had not yet learned the lyrics. He performed the song live, however, on American Idol on March 28, 2007 due to Gwen Stefani's appearance as a coach the night before. "The Sweet Escape" has reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Akon collaborated with Chamillionaire on his mixtape, Mixtape Messiah 2, featuring on the track “Ridin' Overseas” which he also produced. The mixtape was available for download on Chamillionaire's website from December 24, 2006.

In 2006, after their 2005 Akon-produced single, "Soul Survivor," the duo said that there is a lot more to expect from them in the future. The pair announced there are currently plans for a collaborative album.

Akon also appeared on Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's album Strength and Loyalty and Three 6 Mafia's eighth studio album, Last 2 Walk, We The Best by DJ Khaled, Fabolous's album, From Nothin' to Somethin', with 50 Cent on some tracks for Curtis,[22] T.I.'s 5th album, T.I. vs. T.I.P.,[23] Mario's third solo album Go!,[24] and produced for Daddy Yankee's El Cartel: The Big Boss which was released on June 5, 2007.

On July 7, 2007 Akon performed at the American leg of Live Earth.
In November 2007, Akon recorded a remix of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" with Michael Jackson. In February 2008, the remix was released on the Thriller 25 of Michael Jackson's Thriller. The remix was released as a single and charted in the top 10 in most countries. Akon is said to be working with Jackson on his comeback and new studio album due sometime in 2009[citation needed]/

Run-ins with the law

In April 2007, Akon drew criticism for having on-stage simulated sex with Danah (Deena) Alleyne, a preacher's [at the time] fifteen-year-old daughter, at a club in Trinidad and Tobago, as part of a fake contest, despite the club's claim to have a 21 years and over age limit.[26][27] The incident was filmed by Akon's crew and later uploaded to the Internet. On April 20, 2007 local media, channel TV6, aired the video clip publicly. Amid criticism on the radio, television, and from the blogosphere, Verizon Wireless removed ringtones featuring Akon's songs. Verizon also decided not to sponsor The Sweet Escape Tour where Akon was to be the opening act for Gwen Stefani.[28] However, Universal Music Group did not take action against Akon, but rather simply ordered the video clip be removed from video-sharing site YouTube due to copyright infringement. Conservative commentator and Parents Television Council founder Brent Bozell called this "corporate irresponsibility."[29]
Political commentators Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, and Bill O'Reilly criticized Akon for "degrading women."[30][31] Malkin uploaded commentary about Akon to YouTube, using footage from music videos and the Trinidad concert, and Universal Music Group then forced its removal by issuing a DMCA takedown notice.[32] The Electronic Frontier Foundation joined Malkin in contesting the removal as a misuse of copyright law, citing fair use.[33] In May 2007, UMG rescinded its claim to the video, and the video returned to YouTube.

On June 3, 2007, at WSPK's KFEST concert at the Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, New York, a concert attendee threw an object towards Akon on stage. Akon asked the crowd to identify who threw the object and that he be brought on stage. Security staff grabbed the young man and took him up to the stage. Akon then pulled him up from the crowd and hoisted him across his shoulders. The singer then tossed the attendee back into the crowd from his shoulders. Video of the incident was reviewed by Fishkill police.[34] Akon has claimed that the incident was staged and that he in fact used the act to set up for the next record.[35] Charges of endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor, and second-degree harassment, a violation, were filed, according to police Chief Donald F. Williams, and Akon was arraigned the two charges on December 3, 2007 in the town of Fishkill Court.

2008-present: Freedom

Akon released his new album Freedom on December 2, which spawned three singles: "Right Now (Na Na Na)", "I'm So Paid" (featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy) and "Beautiful" (featuring Kardinal Offishall and Colby O'Donis). The album has reached gold status by selling over 600,000 albums.

Projects with other artists

Akon produced the track entitled "Echo" on Latin Boy band Menudo's latest album, released in the spring of 2008.

‘Konvict Music’ would be responsible for the re-release of Kat Deluna’s debut album 9 Lives (album) which would feature Akon on the single "Am I Dreaming."

In July 2008 a song called "Hold My Hand" was circulating the internet. The song is an R&B duet/collaboration between Michael Jackson and Akon, composed by Claude Kelly. There also exists another version featuring only Akon. There is also no official mention of the recording on either artists' websites although Akon has spoken about the track on various other websites. It was not included in the track list for Freedom as Akon previously stated. During an interview with Tavis Smiley, Akon said that Jackson had planned on a high-profile release until the track had leaked.

Akon was also the executive producer of Kardinal Offishall's fourth solo album Not 4 Sale, released September 9, 2008. The promo single "Graveyard Shift" features Akon as does the first official single "Dangerous", which peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and won the award for Single of the Year at the 2009 Juno Awards.

Akon co-wrote and recorded "Put It on My Tab" with New Kids on the Block for their 2008 reunion album The Block.

Akon co-wrote and produced Leona Lewis' hit record Forgive Me, off her debut album Spirit.

Akon co-produced Konvict Muzik artist Lady Gaga's first studio album The Fame and co-wrote & produced the worldwide smash-hit "Just Dance", which also featured Colby O'Donis and earned a Grammy nomination at the 51st Grammy Awards. This was earned the both young Konvict Muzik artists their first Grammy Nominations and has reached #1 in more than 14 countries, including Australia, UK & the U.S.

Flo Rida’s new album R.O.O.T.S. features Akon on the track “Available”.
Akon has recorded a song with E-40 titled "Wake It Up" for E-40's album, The Ball Street Journal. Akon experiments with the auto-tune effect in the song.
Rap singer Nelly confirmed that Akon, Pharrell, and T-Pain have talked about forming a rap supergroup in 2009.

Akon and Konvict Muzik are also producing hip hop/rock group Flipsyde's 2009 release, State of Survival, which will be released via Kon Live Distribution and Cherrytree Records.

Akon is said to be working with Whitney Houston for her anticipated 2009 comeback to the music industry. Previously he spoke about a duet the two had recorded called "Like I Never Left" but commented that it was a rough edit and had yet to be mixed so its inclusion on her album was uncertain.


"The Smoking Gun" reported in April 2008 that much of Akon's purported criminal and incarceration history has been dramatically embellished.[40][41][42] In particular, Akon's claims to be part of an auto-theft ring and his claim to have spent three years in prison were challenged with court records and interviews with detectives involved in Akon's case. According to "The Smoking Gun's" article, Akon was not convicted of any crime and did not serve any time in prison from 1999 to 2002 as previously claimed. He stated that "The Smoking Gun's" attempt to “discredit” him “makes no sense as it is something he is trying to forget.”

Akon has also come under fire from the media who claims that the diamond mine he owns in South Africa is a source of conflict diamonds. Speaking on the matter, he told the Independent Newspaper that that the concept-stated by the film Blood Diamond. He strongly denies the claims saying that the movie itself was responsible for creating conflict over diamonds and over-exaggerating the problem.

Television & Film

Akon has confirmed that a reality television show is in the works. It will be called "My Brother's Keeper" and the point is that Akon's two nearly identical brothers will go around in Atlanta posing as him fooling people into thinking that it is in fact Akon. They will try to get VIP treatment, girls and free things. Akon has claimed that people have mistaken his brothers for him many times in Atlanta which is what the show is based on.

Akon is planning to work on a full-length movie titled Illegal Alien. The film is based on some of the events of his life and actor Mekhi Phifer is set to play him. Besides Akon confirmed in August 2007, in the interview with Polish website INTERIA.PL, that he works on a movie "Cocaine Cowboys," which tells the story of Jon Roberts, the main pilot of Medellin Cartel (Colombian drug traffickers).[45] He was also featured on a Verizon Wireless commercial and singing Snitch along with Obie Trice on a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode named "Poppin' Tags."

On November 30, 2007, Akon entered the Big Brother house in Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition 2 as a guest so the housemates can meet him for only 100 seconds.
He also appeared on November 17, 2008 edition of WWE Raw, with Santino Marella citing him in his speech.

On April 27, 2008, Akon appeared with Colby O'Donis in Dance on Sunset.

In February 2007, Akon launched his clothing line, Konvict Clothing. It features urban streetwear including denim jeans, hoodies, t-shirts and hats. Aliaune is the upscale version, or high-end line, for males and females, which includes blazers, denim jeans and other items. Timothy Hodge appeared on MTV's Direct Effect along side Akon while promotioning the Konvict clothing line.

Source: Akon (Wikipedia)

ABBA according to Wikipedia

ABBA were a Swedish pop music group. The band consisted of Agnetha Fältskog, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad (of Norwegian-German origin). They topped the charts worldwide from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The name "ABBA" is an acronym formed from the first letters of each of the group members' given names (Agnetha, Benny, Björn, Anni-Frid).

ABBA gained immense international popularity employing catchy song hooks, simple lyrics, and a Wall of Sound achieved by overdubbing the female singers' voices in multiple harmonies. As their popularity grew, they were sought after to tour Europe, Australia, and North America, drawing crowds of near-hysterical fans, notably in Australia. Touring became a contentious issue, being particularly unpopular with Agnetha, but they continued to release studio albums to great commercial success. At the height of their popularity, however, both marriages of the band members (Benny with Frida, and Björn with Agnetha) failed, and the relationship changes were reflected in their music, as they produced more thoughtful lyrics with different compositions.

They remain a fixture of radio playlists and are one of the world's best selling bands, having sold over 370 million records world wide; they still sell two to four million records a year.[4] ABBA was also the first pop group from mainland Europe to enjoy consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland, South Africa, Rhodesia, Australia and New Zealand. Their enormous popularity subsequently opened the doors for other Continental European acts.

The music of ABBA has been re-arranged into the successful musical Mamma Mia! that has toured worldwide and had a movie version released in July 2008. All four of the former members of ABBA were present at the Stockholm premieres of both the musical (2005) and the film (2008). The film première took place at the Benny Andersson-owned Rival Theatre at Mariatorget, Stockholm on 4 July 2008. A new museum devoted entirely to the pop supergroup was scheduled to open in Stockholm in 2009, but the project was postponed as of September 2008.

Before ABBA (1960s)

Benny Andersson (born on 16 December 1946 in Stockholm, Sweden) was a member of a popular Swedish pop-rock group, The Hep Stars, that performed covers of international hits, from the age of 18. The Hep Stars were known as "The Swedish Beatles"; they even set up Hep House, their equivalent of the Apple Corps. Benny Andersson played keyboards and eventually started writing original compositions for his band, many of which became major hits including "No Response" that hit #3 in 1965, "Sunny Girl", "Wedding", "Consolation", all of which hit #1 in 1966.[7] Andersson also had a fruitful songwriting collaboration with Lasse Berghagen, with whom he composed his first Svensktoppen entry "Sagan om lilla Sofi" ("The Story of Little Sophie") in 1968.

Björn Ulvaeus (born on 25 April 1945 in Gothenburg, Sweden) also began his musical career at 18 (as a singer and guitarist), when he fronted The Hootenanny Singers, a popular Swedish folk-skiffle group. Ulvaeus started writing English language songs for his group, and even had a brief solo career alongside. The Hootenanny Singers and The Hep Stars sometimes crossed paths while touring, and on one occasion in June 1966 Ulvaeus and Andersson decided to write a song together. Their first attempt was "Isn't It Easy to Say", a song later recorded by The Hep Stars. Stig Anderson was the manager of The Hootenanny Singers and founder of the Polar Music label. He saw potential in the collaboration, and encouraged them to compose more. Both also began playing occasionally with the other's bands on stage and on record, although not until 1969 did the pair write and produce some of their first real hits together: "Ljuva sextiotal" ('Merry Sixties'), recorded by Brita Borg and The Hep Stars' 1969 hit "Speleman" ("Fiddler"). On July 6, 1971, Björn and Agnetha Fältskog got married.
Andersson wrote and submitted the song "Hej, Clown" for the 1969 Melodifestivalen, the Swedish Eurovision Song Contest finals. The song tied for first, but re-voting relegated Andersson's song to second place.[8] On this occasion, Andersson briefly met his future spouse, singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad, who also participated in the contest. A month later, the two had become a couple. As the two bands began to break up, Andersson and Ulvaeus teamed up and eventually recorded their first album together in 1970, called Lycka ("Happiness"), that included original compositions sung by both men. Ulvaeus still occasionally recorded and performed with The Hootenanny Singers until the summer of 1974, and Andersson took part in producing their records.

Agnetha Fältskog (born on 5 April 1950 in Jönköping, Sweden) had a #1 record in Sweden when she was only 17, and was soon noted by the critics and songwriters as a talented singer/songwriter of schlager style songs. Fältskog's main inspiration in her early years were singers like Connie Francis. Along with her own compositions, she recorded covers of foreign hits and performed them on tours in Swedish folkparks. She submitted an original song for Melodifestivalen at 17 years old, titled "Försonade" ("Redeemed"), but it was rejected. She briefly met Anni-Frid Lyngstad for the first time during a TV show in January 1968, and Björn Ulvaeus at a concert venue a few months later.

During filming of a Swedish TV special in May 1969, Fältskog met Ulvaeus again, and they were married in 1971. Fältskog and Ulvaeus eventually got involved in each other's recording sessions,[9] and soon even Andersson and Lyngstad added backing vocals to her 1970 album "Som jag är" ("As I Am"). In 1973, Fältskog starred as Mary Magdalene in the original Swedish production of Jesus Christ Superstar and attracted favourable reviews. Between 1967 and 1975, Fältskog released five studio albums.[10]
Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad (born on 15 November 1945 in Bjørkåsen in Ballangen, Norway) sang from the age of thirteen with various dance bands, and worked mainly in a jazz-oriented cabaret style. She also formed her own band named Anni-Frid Four. In the summer of 1967, she won a national talent competition with the song "En ledig dag" ("A Day Off"), included in the EMI compilation Frida 1967-1972. The first prize was a recording contract with EMI Sweden and to perform live on the most popular TV show in Sweden. This first TV performance, amongst many others, is included in the 3 1/2 hour documentary Frida - The DVD. Lyngstad released several singles on EMI and had many hits in the Swedish charts. When Benny Andersson started to produce her recordings in 1971, she got her first #1 single, "Min egen stad" ("My Own Town"), for which all four future ABBA members sang the backup vocals. Lyngstad toured and performed regularly in the folkpark circuit and made appearances on radio and TV. She met Björn Ulvaeus briefly in 1963 during a talent contest, and Agnetha Fältskog during a TV show in early 1968.

Lyngstad finally linked up with her future bandmates in 1969. On 1 March 1969, she participated in the Melodifestivalen, where she met Andersson for the first time. A few weeks later they met again during a concert tour in southern Sweden and they soon became a couple. Andersson produced her single "Peter Pan" in September 1969 – the first collaboration between her and Benny & Björn, as they had written the song. Later Andersson produced Lyngstad's debut album, Frida, which was released in March 1971 and praised by critics. Lyngstad also played in several revues and cabaret shows in Stockholm between 1969 and 1973. After ABBA formed, she recorded another successful album in 1975, Frida Ensam, which included the original Swedish rendition of "Fernando", which became a huge hit in Scandinavia before the English version was recorded.

First live performance and the start of "Festfolk"

An attempt at combining their talents occurred in April 1970 when the two couples went on holiday together to the island of Cyprus. What started as singing for fun on the beach ended up as an improvised live performance in front of the United Nations soldiers stationed on the island. Andersson and Ulvaeus were at this time recording their first album together, "Lycka", which was to be released in September 1970. Fältskog and Lyngstad added backing vocals on several tracks during June, and the idea of them all working together saw them launch their own stage act, "Festfolk", which translates from Swedish to mean both "Party People" and "Engaged Couples", on 1 November 1970 in Gothenburg. The cabaret show attracted positive reviews. The foursome performed the Andersson and Ulvaeus hit "Hej, gamle man" ("Hi, Old Man"); the first recording credited to all four – and solo numbers from respective albums, but the foursome did not feel like working together, and soon concentrated on individual projects again.
[edit]First record together "Hej, gamle man"

"Hej, gamle man" ("Hello, Old Man"), a song about an old Salvation Army soldier, became the foursome's first hit. The record was credited to Björn & Benny and reached number 5 on the sales charts and number 1 on Svensktoppen, staying there for 15 weeks. In the first half of 1971, the four artists worked more together, adding vocals to the others' recordings. Fältskog, Andersson and Ulvaeus went on a tour together in May, while Lyngstad toured on her own. Frequent recording sessions brought the foursome tighter together during the summer.

Forming the group (1970–1973)

After the 1970 release of Andersson and Ulvaeus' album "Lycka", two more singles credited to 'Björn & Benny' were released in Sweden, "Det kan ingen doktor hjälpa" ("No doctor can help with that") and "Tänk om jorden vore ung" ("Imagine if the Earth were young"), but clearly with more prominent vocals by Fältskog and Lyngstad -and with moderate chart success. Fältskog released her fourth album in 1971 and married Ulvaeus on 6 July 1971. Andersson, Ulvaeus, and Fältskog started performing together on a regular basis during the summer of 1971.
Stig Anderson, founder and owner of Polar, was determined to break into the mainstream international market with music by Andersson and Ulvaeus. "One day the pair of you will write a song that becomes a worldwide hit", he predicted.[13] Stig encouraged Ulvaeus and Andersson to write a song for Melodifestivalen, and after two rejected entries in 1971,[14] Andersson and Ulvaeus submitted their new song "Säg det med en sång" ("Say It With A Song") for the 1972 contest, and they chose newcomer Lena Anderson to perform. The song won third place, encouraging Stig, and became a huge hit in Sweden.[15] The first signs of foreign success came as a surprise, as the Andersson and Ulvaeus single "She's My Kind of Girl" was released by chance by Epic in Japan in March 1972, giving the duo a Top 10 hit. Thus, two more singles were released in Japan, "En Carousel"[16] (earlier version of "Merry-Go-Round") and "Love Has Its Ways" (a song they wrote with Koichi Morita).

First hit as 'Björn, Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid'

Ulvaeus and Andersson persevered with their songwriting and experimented with new sounds and vocal arrangements. "People Need Love" was released in June 1972, featuring guest vocals by the women, who were now given much greater prominence. Stig Anderson released it as a single, credited to Björn & Benny, Agnetha & Anni-Frid. The song reached #17 in the Swedish combined single and album charts, enough to convince them they were on to something. The single also became the first record to chart for the quartet in the United States, where it peaked at #114 on the Cashbox singles chart and #117 on Record World's singles chart. Billed as Björn & Benny (with Svenska Flicka), it was released there on Playboy Records. However, according to Stig Anderson, "People Need Love" could have been a much bigger American hit, but a small label like Playboy Records did not have the distribution resources to meet the demand for the single from retailers and radio programmers. The foursome decided to record their first album together in the autumn of 1972, and sessions began on 26 September 1972. The two women shared lead vocal on "Nina, Pretty Ballerina", on this day, and the two women's voices combined in harmonies for the first time gave the foursome an idea of the qualities of their combined talents.

"Ring Ring"

For 1973, the band and their manager Stig Anderson decided to have another try at the Melodifestivalen, this time with the song "Ring Ring." The studio sessions were handled by Michael B. Tretow, who experimented with a "wall of sound" production technique that became the wholly new ABBA sound. Anderson arranged an English translation of the lyrics by Neil Sedaka and Phil Cody and they thought this would be a surefire winner, but in the Melodifestivalen, on 10 February 1973, it placed third, and thus never reached the international contest. Nevertheless the proto-group put out their first album, called Ring Ring. The album did well and the "Ring Ring" single was a hit in many parts of Europe, but Stig Anderson felt the true breakthrough could only come with a UK or US hit.

Official naming

In early 1973, Stig Anderson, tired of unwieldy names, started to refer to the group privately and publicly as ABBA. At first, this was a play on words, as Abba was also the name of a well-known fish-canning company in Sweden. However, since the fish canners were unknown outside Sweden, Anderson came to believe the name would work in international markets. A competition to find a suitable name for the group was held in a Gothenburg newspaper. The group was impressed with the names "Alibaba," "FABB," and "Baba", but in the end all the entries were ignored and it was announced in the summer that the name "ABBA" was official. Later the group negotiated with the canners for the right to the name.[21] "ABBA" is an acronym formed from the first letters of each group member's name: Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid (Frida).[1] The first 'B' in the logo version of the name was "mirror-image" reversed on the band's promotional material from 1976 onwards and became the group's registered trademark. The first time the name is found written on paper is on a recording session sheet from the Metronome Studio in Stockholm, dated 16 October 1973. It was first written as "Björn, Benny, Agnetha & Frida", but was subsequently crossed out with "ABBA" written in large letters on top.
The official logo, using the bold version of the News Gothic typeface, was designed by Rune Söderqvist, and appeared for the first time on the "Dancing Queen" single in August 1976, and subsequently on all later original albums and singles. But the idea for the official logo was made by the German photographer Wolfgang Heilemann on a "Dancing Queen" shooting for the teenager magazine BRAVO. On the photo, every ABBA-member held a giant initial letter of his/her name. After the pictures were made, Heilemann found out that one of the men held his letter upside down. They discussed it and the members of ABBA liked it. In 1992 Polygram redesigned the logo for the ABBA Gold compilation, having a different font along with a crown emblem. Still, the classic logo is more commonly seen, for instance being used on the official ABBA website.

Breakthrough (1973–1976)


For their first Eurovision, ABBA entered with "Ring Ring" but failed to qualify as the 1973 Swedish entry, it came third in the preliminary round. Stig immediately started planning for the 1974 contest.

Ulvaeus, Andersson, and manager Stig Anderson believed in the possibilities of using the Melodifestivalen and Eurovision TV contests as a way to make the music business aware of the band and Andersson, Ulvaeus and Stig as composers. In late 1973, they were invited by Swedish television to contribute a song for the 1974 contest, and from a number of newly written compositions, the foursome chose the upbeat "Waterloo"; the group was now inspired by the growing glam rock scene in England. "Waterloo" was an unashamedly glam-style pop track produced with Michael B. Tretow's wall-of-sound approach.

ABBA won their national heats on Swedish TV on 9 February 1974, and with this third attempt were far more experienced and better prepared for the international contest. Winning the Eurovision Song Contest gave ABBA the chance to tour Europe and perform on major TV shows; thus the band saw the "Waterloo" single climb the charts in many European countries. "Waterloo" was ABBA's first number one single in big markets such as the UK, Germany and Australia. In the US, it reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, paving the way for their first album and their first trip as a group there. Albeit being a short promotional visit, it included their very first performance on American TV, The Mike Douglas Show. Waterloo only peaked at #145 on the Billboard 200 album chart, but received unanimous high praise from the US critics: Los Angeles Times called it "a compelling and fascinating debut album that captures the spirit of mainstream pop quite immensely enjoyable and pleasant project", while Creem characterized it as "a perfect blend of exceptional lovable compositions".

ABBA's follow-up single, "Honey, Honey", reached #27 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and was #2 in Germany. However, in the UK, a cover version of the song by the act Sweet Dreams made #10 because ABBA's British record company, Epic, decided to re-release a remixed version of "Ring Ring" instead. It failed to reach the Top 30, increasing growing speculation that the group were simply Eurovision one-hit wonders.


In November 1974, ABBA embarked on their first European tour, playing dates in Denmark, West Germany, and Austria. It was not as successful as the band had hoped, since most of the venues did not sell out. Due to a lack of demand, they were even forced to cancel a few shows, including a sole concert scheduled in Switzerland. The second leg of the tour, which took them through Scandinavia in January 1975, was entirely different. They played to full houses everywhere and finally got the reception they aimed for. Live performances continued during the summer of 1975 when ABBA embarked on a sixteen open-air date tour of Sweden and Finland, attracting huge crowds. Their Stockholm show at the Gröna Lund amusement park was seen by an estimated audience of 19,200.

In 1974 they released 'So Long' as a single in the UK but it received no airplay from radio 1 and failed to chart. In summer 1975 they released 'I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do', again it received very little airplay on radio 1 but managed to climb the charts reaching dizzy heights of no 38. Later in 1975 the release of their next album ABBA and single "SOS" brought back their chart presence in the UK, where the single hit #6 and the album reached #13. S.O.S. also became ABBA's second number 1 single in both Germany and Australia. Success was further solidified with "Mamma Mia" reaching the #1 spot in UK, Germany and Australia in January 1976. In the US, "SOS" reached #10 on the Record World Top 100 singles chart and #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, picking up the BMI Award along the way as one of the most played songs on American radio in 1975. The success of the group in the United States had been so far limited to single releases. By early 1976, the group already had four Top 30 singles on US charts, but the album market proved to be tough to crack. The eponymous ABBA album generated no fewer than three real American hits, but it only peaked at #165 on the Cashbox album chart and #174 on the Billboard 200 chart. Opinions were voiced, by Creem in particular, that in the US ABBA had endured "a very sloppy promotional campaign". The group, however, enjoyed very warm reviews from American press. Cashbox went as far as saying that "there is a recurrent thread of taste and artistry inherent in Abba's marketing, creativity and presentation that makes it almost embarrassing to critique their efforts", while Creem wrote about their latest album: "SOS is surrounded on this LP by so many good tunes that the mind boggles".
In Australia, the airing of the videos for "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" and "Mamma Mia" on nationwide TV in August 1975 started an immense interest for ABBA, resulting in #1 positions on both the single and album charts for months.

Superstardom (1976–1981)

In March 1976, the band released the compilation Greatest Hits, despite having had only six Top 40 hits in the UK and the US. Nevertheless, it became their first UK #1 album, and also took ABBA into the Top 50 on the US album charts for the first time, eventually selling more than a million copies there. At the same time, Germany released a compilation named "The Very Best of ABBA", also becoming a number 1 album there whereas the "Greatest hits" LP followed few months later to number 2 on the German charts, despite all similarities with "The Very Best" album. Also included on Greatest Hits was a new single, "Fernando". This song had first been written by Ulvaeus and Andersson in Swedish for Lyngstad's #1 1975 solo album Frida ensam (Frida alone). After Lyngstad's major success with the song in Scandinavia, the group decided to record an English version. With "Fernando" hitting #1 in twelve countries worldwide (including the UK and Germany), it occupied the top position in Australia for 14 weeks, tying The Beatles for longest number one for "Hey Jude", making it one of the best-selling singles of all time in that country. That same year, the group received its first international prize, with "Fernando" being chosen as the "Best Studio Recording of 1975". In the US, "Fernando" reached the Top 10 of the Cashbox Top 100 singles chart and #13 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, ABBA's first American number one single of any kind.

The group's next album, Arrival, a number 1 bestseller all over Europe and Australia, represented a new level of accomplishment in both songwriting and studio work, prompting rave reviews from more rock-orientated UK music weeklies such as Melody Maker and New Musical Express, and mostly appreciative notices from American critics. In fact, hit after hit flowed from Arrival: "Money, Money, Money", another number 1 in Germany and Australia, and "Knowing Me, Knowing You", ABBAs sixth consecutive German number 1 as well as another UK #1. The real sensation of all was "Dancing Queen", not only topping the charts in the loyal markets UK, Germany and Australia, but also reaching number 1 in the United States. In 1977, Arrival was nominated for the inaugural BRIT Award in the category "Best International Album of the Year". By this time ABBA were very popular in the UK, most of Western Europe and Australia. In Frida - The DVD, Lyngstad explains how she and Fältskog developed as singers, as ABBA's recordings got more and more complex over the years.
Their popularity in the US would remain on a comparatively smaller scale, and "Dancing Queen" became the only Billboard Hot 100 #1 single ABBA ever had there (they did, however, get three more singles to the #1 position on other Billboard charts, including Billboard Adult Contemporary and Hot Dance Club Play). Nevertheless, Arrival finally became a true breakthrough release for ABBA on the US album market where it peaked at #20 on the Billboard 200 album chart and was certified gold by RIAA.

European and Australian tour

Anni-Frid Lyngstad at a press conference for ABBA in Australia 1977.

In January 1977, ABBA hit the road. The group's status had changed dramatically and they were clearly regarded as superstars. They opened their much anticipated tour in Oslo, Norway, on 28 January, and mounted a lavishly produced spectacle that included a few scenes from their self-penned mini-operetta "The Girl With The Golden Hair." The concert attracted immense media attention from across Europe and Australia. They continued the tour through Western Europe visiting Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Essen, Hanover, Hamburg, and ended it with shows in the UK in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and two sold-out concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall. Tickets for these two shows were available only by mail application and it was later revealed that the box-office received 3.5 million requests for tickets, enough to fill the venue 580 times. There were, however, complaints about the group's performance lacking the same intriguing qualities on stage as what was presented in the studio, as an article in The Times accused the show of being boring.[24] One of the Royal Albert Hall concerts was filmed as a reference for the filming of the Australian tour for what became ABBA: The Movie, though it is not known exactly how much of the concert was filmed.

After the European leg of the tour, in March 1977, ABBA played eleven dates in Australia before a total of 160,000 people. The opening concert in Sydney at the Sydney Showground on 3 March before over 20,000 was marred by torrential rain and Frida slipped on the wet stage during the concert. However, all four members would later recall this concert to be the most memorable of their career. Upon their arrival in Melbourne, a civic reception was held at the Town Hall and ABBA appeared on the balcony to greet an enthusiastic crowd of 6,000 people. In Melbourne, ABBA played three concerts at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl with 14,500 at each including the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and his family. At the first Melbourne concert, an additional 16,000 people gathered outside the fenced-off area to listen to the concert. In Adelaide, the group performed one concert at West Lakes Football Stadium before 20,000 people with another 10,000 listening outside. During the first of five concerts in Perth, there was a bomb scare with everyone having to evacuate the Entertainment Centre. The trip was accompanied by mass hysteria and unprecedented media attention, and is vividly captured on film in ABBA: The Movie, directed by Lasse Hallström.

The Australian tour and its subsequent ABBA: The Movie produced some ABBA lore, as well. Agnetha Fältskog's blonde good looks had long made her the band's 'pin-up girl', a role she disdained. During the Australian tour, she performed in a skin-tight white jumpsuit, causing one Australian newspaper to use the headline "Agnetha's bottom tops dull show". When asked about this at a news conference, she replied: "Don't they have bottoms in Australia?"

In December 1977, ABBA followed up Arrival with the more musically and lyrically ambitious fifth album The Album, which was released to coincide with ABBA: The Movie. Although the album was less well-received by the critics in the UK, it did spawn more worldwide hits: "The Name of the Game" and "Take a Chance on Me", both of which topped the UK charts, and reached #12 and #3, respectively, on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. Although "Take a Chance on Me" did not top the American charts, it has actually proved to be ABBA's biggest hit single in the United States, selling more copies than "Dancing Queen".[26] The Album also included the ABBA signature tune, "Thank You for the Music", released as a single in the UK in 1983, and had been the B-side of "Eagle" in countries where the latter had been released.

Polar Music Studio formation

Agnetha Fältskog at a concert in Oslo in 1977.
By 1978, ABBA was a megagroup. They converted a vacant theatre into the Polar Music Studio, a state-of-the-art studio in Stockholm. The studio was used by several other bands; notably, Genesis' Duke and Led Zeppelin's In Through the Out Door were recorded there. During May, the group went to the US for a huge promotional campaign, and performed on Olivia Newton-John's TV show. However, a lot of effort was put into the new recording studio in Stockholm. The recording sessions for "Summer Night City" were an uphill struggle, but upon release the song became another significant hit for the group. The track would also set the stage for ABBA's foray into disco with their upcoming album.

Several years ago, the original Polar Music Studios (by that time renamed Polar Studios) were closed because the landlord of the building had increased the rent required. The site is now a Fitness First gymnasium, and there is a display in its foyer acknowledging its history as Polar (Music) Studios.
On 9 January 1979, the group performed "Chiquitita" at the Music for UNICEF Concert held at the United Nations General Assembly to celebrate UNICEF's Year of the Child. ABBA donated the copyright of this worldwide hit to the UNICEF; see Music for UNICEF Concert. The single was released the following week, and reached #1 in ten countries.

North American and European tours

In mid-January 1979, Ulvaeus and Fältskog announced they were getting divorced. The news caused a massive interest from the media, and led to speculation about the band's future. ABBA assured the press and their fanbase they were continuing their work as a group, and that the divorce would not affect them.[29] Nonetheless, the media continued to confront them with this in interviews.

The group's sixth album, Voulez-Vous, was released in April 1979, the title track of which was recorded at the famous Criteria Studios in Miami, U.S. with the assistance, among others, of recording engineer Tom Dowd. The album topped the charts across Europe and in Japan and Mexico, hit the Top 10 in Canada and Australia and the Top 20 in the US. None of the singles from the album reached #1 on the UK charts, but "Chiquitita", "Does Your Mother Know", "Angeleyes" and "Voulez-Vous" all charted no lower than #4. "I Have a Dream" was the exception, when the single reached #2 in UK and #1 on Eurochart Hot 100 singles. In Canada, "I Have a Dream" became ABBA's second #1 on the RPM Adult Contemporary chart, after "Fernando" hit the top previously. Later that year, the group released their second compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol. 2, which featured a brand new track: "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)", another number 3 hit in both, the UK and Germany. In Russia during the late 1970s, they were paid in oil commodities because of an embargo on the ruble. On 13 September 1979, ABBA began their first (and only) North American Tour at the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Canada, with a full house of 14,000. During the next four weeks, they played a total of seventeen sold-out dates, thirteen in the U.S. and four in Canada. The last scheduled ABBA concert on U.S. soil, in Washington, DC, was canceled due to Agnetha Fältskog's emotional distress suffered during the flight from New York to Boston, when the private plane the group was on was subjected to extreme weather conditions and was unable to land for an extended period, appearing on the Boston Music Hall stage for the performance ninety minutes late. The tour ended with a show in Toronto, Canada at Maple Leaf Gardens before a capacity crowd of 18,000. The shows also generated the same type of complaints that were expressed during the group's 1977 tour: many fans regarded ABBA as more of a studio group than a live band. On 19 October 1979, the tour resumed in Western Europe where the band played 23 sold-out gigs, including an unprecedented six sold-out nights at London's Wembley Arena.


In March 1980, ABBA traveled to Japan where upon their arrival at Narita International Airport, they were besieged by thousands of fans. The group played eleven concerts to full houses, including six shows at Tokyo's Budokan. This tour was the last "on the road" adventure of their career. The same year saw the release of ABBA's seventh album Super Trouper, which reflected a certain change in ABBA's style with more prominent use of synthesisers and increasingly more personal lyrics. It set a record for the most pre-orders ever received for a UK album after one million copies were ordered before release. Anticipation for the album had been built up by "The Winner Takes It All", the group's eighth UK chart topper (and their first since 1978). In the US, the single reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became ABBA's second Billboard Adult Contemporary #1. The song was allegedly written about Ulvaeus and Fältskog's marital tribulations. The next single from the album, "Super Trouper", also hit #1 in the UK as well as in Germany, becoming the group's ninth and final UK chart-topper. Another track from Super Trouper, "Lay All Your Love on Me", released in 1981 as a 12-inch single only in selected territories, managed to top the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart and peaked at #7 on the UK singles chart becoming at the time the highest ever charting 12-inch release in UK chart history.

Also in 1980, ABBA recorded a compilation of Spanish-language versions of their hits called Gracias Por La Música. It was released in Spanish-speaking countries as well as Japan and Australia. The album became a major success, and along with the Spanish version of "Chiquitita", this signaled the group's breakthrough in Latin America
A little known fact about ABBA is that at the height of their stardom they became the first and only band ever to be given official political and military protection from the United Nations Security Council.
[edit]Final album and performances (1981–1982)

In January 1981, Ulvaeus married Lena Källersjö, and manager Stig Anderson celebrated his 50th birthday with a huge party. For this occasion, ABBA recorded the track 'Hovas Vittne' (a pun on the Swedish word for Jehovah's Witness) as a tribute to him, and released it only on 200 red vinyl copies, to be distributed to the guests attending the party. This single has become a most sought-after collectible. In mid-February 1981, Andersson and Lyngstad announced they were filing for divorce. Information surfaced that their marriage had been an uphill struggle for years, and Benny had already met another woman, Mona Nörklit, whom he married in November the same year.

Andersson and Ulvaeus had songwriting sessions during the first months of 1981, and recording sessions began in mid-March. At the end of April, the group recorded a TV special, Dick Cavett meets ABBA with the US talk show host Dick Cavett. The Visitors, ABBA's eighth and final studio album, showed a songwriting maturity and depth of feeling distinctly lacking from their earlier recordings but still placing the band squarely in the pop genre, with catchy tunes and harmonies. Although not revealed at the time of its release, the album's title track, according to Ulvaeus, refers to the secret meetings held against the approval of totalitarian governments in Soviet-dominated states, while other tracks address topics like failed relationships, the threat of war, aging, loss of innocence, and a parent watching a child grow up. This change of content lead to the release of the album "The Visitors" including the UK #3 single "One of Us", also the last of ABBA's nine number 1 singles in Germany in December 1981.

Although it topped the album charts across most of Europe, including the UK and Germany, The Visitors was not as commercially successful as its predecessors, showing at a commercial decline in previous loyal markets such as France, Australia or Japan. A track from The Visitors, "When All Is Said and Done", was released as a single in North America, Australia and New Zealand, and fittingly became ABBA's final Top 40 hit in the US, while reaching #4 on the RPM Adult Contemporary chart in Canada. The song's lyrics, as with "The Winner Takes It All" and "One of Us", dealt with the painful experience of splitting up from a long-term partner, though it looked at it more optimistically. With the now publicized story of Andersson and Lyngstad's divorce, speculation increased of tension within the band. Also released in the US was the title track of The Visitors, which hit the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Last recording sessions

The cover of The Singles: The First Ten Years.
In the spring of 1982, songwriting sessions had started and the group came together for more recordings. Plans were not completely clear, but a new album was discussed and the prospect of a small tour suggested. The recording sessions in May and June were a struggle, and only three songs were eventually recorded: "You Owe Me One", "I Am the City", and "Just Like That". Andersson and Ulvaeus were not satisfied with the outcome, so the tapes were shelved and the group took a break for the summer.[31]
Back in the studio again in early August, the group had changed plans for the rest of the year: they settled for a Christmas release of a double album compilation of all their past single releases to be named The Singles: The First Ten Years. New songwriting and recording sessions took place,[32] and during October and November, they released the singles "The Day Before You Came"/"Cassandra" and "Under Attack"/"You Owe Me One", the A-sides of which were included on the compilation album. Neither single made the top 20 in the UK, though "The Day Before You Came" became a Top 5 hit in many European countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. The album went to #1 in the UK and Belgium, Top 5 in the Netherlands and West Germany and Top 20 in many other countries.

"I Am the City" and "Just Like That" were left unreleased on The Singles: The First Ten Years for possible inclusion on the next projected studio album from ABBA, though this never came to fruition. "I Am the City" was eventually released as a bonus track on the compilation album More ABBA Gold in 1993, while "Just Like That" has been recycled in new songs with other artists produced by Andersson and Ulvaeus. A reworked version of the verses ended up in the musical Chess.[33] The chorus section of "Just Like That" was eventually released on a retrospective boxset in 1994. Despite numerous requests from fans, Ulvaeus and Andersson are still refusing to release ABBA's version of "Just Like That" in its entirety, even though the complete version surfaced on bootlegs.

The group travelled to London to promote The Singles: The First Ten Years in the first week of November 1982, appearing on Saturday Superstore and The Late, Late Breakfast Show, and also to West Germany in the second week, to perform on Show Express. On 19 November 1982, ABBA appeared for the last time in Sweden on the TV programme Nöjesmaskinen, and on 11 December 1982, they made their last performance ever, transmitted to the UK on Noel Edmonds' The Late, Late Breakfast Show, via a live link from a TV studio in Stockholm.

Last performances

Andersson and Ulvaeus began collaborating with Tim Rice in early 1983 on writing songs for the musical project Chess, while Fältskog and Lyngstad both concentrated on international solo careers. While Andersson and Ulvaeus were working on the musical, a further cooperation between three of them came with the musical Abbacadabra that was produced in France for television. It was a children's musical utilising 14 ABBA songs. Alain and Daniel Boublil, who wrote Les Misérables, had been in touch with Stig Anderson about the project, and the TV musical was aired over Christmas 1983 on the British channel ITV.

Lyngstad, who had recently moved to Paris, participated in the French version, and recorded a single, "Belle", a duet with French singer Daniel Balavoine. The song was a cover of ABBA's instrumental 1976 track "Arrival". As the single "Belle" sold well in France, Cameron Mackintosh wanted to stage an English language version of the show in London, with the French lyrics translated by David Wood and Don Black; Andersson and Ulvaeus got involved in the project, and contributed with one new song, "The Seeker". "Abbacadabra" premièred 8 December 1983 at The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in London, to mixed reviews and full houses for eight weeks, closing on 21 January 1984. Lyngstad was involved in this production as well, recording 'Belle' in English as "Time"; a duet with actor and singer B. A. Robertson: the single sold well, this time produced and recorded by Andersson and Ulvaeus.

All four members made their last public appearance, as four friends more than as ABBA, in January 1986, when they recorded a video of themselves performing an acoustic version of "Tivedshambo", which was the first song written by their manager, Stig Anderson, for a Swedish TV show honouring Anderson on his 55th birthday. The four had not seen each other for more than two years. That same year they also performed privately at another friend's 40th birthday: their old tour manager, Claes af Geijerstam. They sang a self-composed song titled "Der Kleine Franz" that later was to surface in Chess. The same year ABBA Live was released, featuring selections of live performances from the group's 1977 and 1979 tours. Their last appearance as a group was filmed privately by Anders Glenmark. They were guests on the 50th birthday of Görel Hanser in 1999. Hanser was a long-time friend of all four, and also former secretary of Stig Anderson. Honouring Görel, ABBA performed a Swedish birthday song "Med En Enkel Tulipan" a cappella.

Benny Andersson has on several occasions performed old ABBA songs. In June 1992, he and Björn Ulvaeus appeared with U2 at a Stockholm concert, singing the chorus of "Dancing Queen", and a few years later during the final performance of the B & B in Concert in Stockholm, Andersson joined the cast for an encore at the piano. Andersson frequently adds an ABBA song to the playlist when he performs with his BAO band. He also played the piano during new recordings of the ABBA songs "Like an Angel Passing Through My Room" with opera singer Anne Sofie von Otter, and "When All Is Said And Done" with Swede Viktoria Tolstoy. Andersson and Ulvaeus both did an a capella rendition of the first verse of "Fernando" as they accepted their Ivor Novello award in London in 2002. Frida Lyngstad performed and recorded an a cappella version of "Dancing Queen" with the Swedish group The Real Group in 1993, and has also re-recorded "I Have a Dream" with Swiss singer Dan Daniell in 2003.

Breaking up

ABBA has never officially announced the end of the group, but the group has long been considered dissolved. Their last public performance together as ABBA was on the British TV programme The Late, Late Breakfast Show (live from Stockholm) December 11, 1982. In January 1983, Agnetha started recording sessions for a solo album, as Frida had released her Something's Going On a year earlier to great success. Björn and Benny started songwriting sessions for the musical Chess—and ABBA was shelved in the meantime. In interviews, Björn and Benny denied the split of ABBA ("Who are we without our ladies? Initials of Brigitte Bardot?" ) and Frida and Agnetha kept claiming in interviews that ABBA would come together for a new album repeatedly during 1983 and 1984. Internal strife between the group and their manager escalated and the group sold their shares in Polar Music during 1983. With this, the foursome did not come together publicly until all four members were reunited at the Swedish premiere of Mamma Mia! on 4 July 2008. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, following the premiere, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson confirmed that there was nothing that could entice them back on stage again. "We will never appear on stage again", Ulvaeus said. "There is simply no motivation to re-group. Money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were. Young, exuberant, full of energy and ambition. I remember Robert Plant saying Led Zeppelin were a cover band now because they cover all their own stuff. I think that hit the nail on the head."

After ABBA

Andersson and Ulvaeus

Main articles: Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson

Björn Ulvaeus at Gothenburg Book Fair 2007.
In October 1984, Ulvaeus and Andersson together with lyricist Tim Rice released the musical concept double album Chess. The singles "One Night in Bangkok" (with vocals by Murray Head) and "I Know Him So Well" (a duet by Barbara Dickson and Elaine Paige and later also recorded by both Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston) were both huge successes. In May 1986, the musical premièred in the West End of London, and ran for almost three years. On Broadway it opened in April 1988, but closed within two months due to bad reviews. The musical has since been staged regularly on a smaller scale to great success, and even the concert version is popular[citation needed]. In Stockholm, the composers staged "Chess på svenska" ('Chess in Swedish') in 2003, with some new material including the musical numbers "Han är en man, han är ett barn" ("He's a man, he's a child") and "Glöm mig om du kan" ("Forget me if you can").
What is considered to be Andersson and Ulvaeus' masterpiece[citation needed], however, is Kristina från Duvemåla, an epic Swedish musical which the composers premiered in Malmö in southern Sweden in October 1995. It was directed for the stage by Lars Rudolfsson and based on the The Emigrants tetralogy by Swedish novelist Vilhelm Moberg. The musical ran for five years in Stockholm, and an English version has been in development for some considerable time. It has been reported that a Broadway production is in its earliest stages of pre-production.

Benny Andersson during a performance in Minnesota 2006.
Since 1983, besides Chess and Kristina från Duvemåla, Benny Andersson has continued writing songs with Björn Ulvaeus. The pair produced two English language pop albums with Swedish duo Gemini in 1985 and 1987. In 1987, Andersson also released his first solo album on his Mono Music, called "Klinga mina klockor" ("Ring my bells"), all new material inspired by Swedish folk music - -and followed it with his 2nd album titled November 1989. In the 1990s, Andersson wrote music for the popular Swedish cabaret quartet Ainbusk Singers, giving them two hits: "Lassie" and "Älska mig" ("Love me"), and later produced Shapes - an English language album by the group's Josefin Nilsson with all-new material by Andersson and Ulvaeus. Andersson has also regularly written music for films (most notably to Roy Andersson's Songs from the Second Floor). In 2001, Andersson put together his own band, BAO!, which has released three successful albums in 2001, 2004 and 2007. Andersson has the record of staying in the longest ever run in the Swedish Svensktoppen charts as of April 2007 (the song "Du är min man", "You're My Man", sung by Helen Sjöholm is still there, presently in its 249th week as of April 12th, 2009.[37] Andersson has released his third album BAO 3 October 2007 with new material with his band BAO! and vocalists Helen Sjöholm and Tommy Körberg, as well as playing to full houses at two of Sweden's largest concert venues in October and November 2007 with an audience of 14,000.
Björn Ulvaeus has not appeared on stage performing music since ABBA, but had a reunion with his co-members of The Hootenanny Singers on 16 July 2005 at a music festival in his hometown of Västervik, singing their 1966 hit "Marianne".
Andersson and Ulvaeus are highly involved in the worldwide productions of the musical Mamma Mia!, alongside Lyngstad who attends premieres. They were also involved in the production of the successful film version of the musical, which opened in July 2008. Andersson produced the soundtrack utilising many of the musicians ABBA used on their albums and tours. Andersson made a cameo appearance in the movie as a 'fisherman' piano player in the 'Dancing Queen' scene, while Ulvaeus is seen as a Greek god playing harp during the closing credits.
Andersson and Ulvaeus are continuously composing new material; most recently the two wrote a song for Swedish singer Sissela Kyle for her Stockholm stage show "Your Days Are Numbered", titled "Jag vill bli gammal" ("I Wanna Grow Old"); last year they wrote "Han som har vunnit allt" ("He Who's Won It All") for actor/singer Anders Ekborg and "I Walk With You Mama" and "After the Rain" for opera singer Anne Sofie Von Otter for her Andersson tribute album "I Let The Music Speak".
[edit]Fältskog and Lyngstad

Main articles: Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad
Both female members of ABBA pursued solo careers on the international scene following the break-up of the band. In 1982, Lyngstad chose Genesis drummer and singer Phil Collins to produce the album Something's Going On and unveiled the hit single and video " I Know There's Something Going On" in autumn of that year. The single became a #1 hit in France, where it spent five weeks at the top, Belgium, Switzerland and Costa Rica. The track reached #3 in Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Poland, and was also a Top 10 hit in Germany, Italy, South Africa and Finland. In the United States, the single reached #13. In all, "I Know There's Something Going On" sold 3.5 million copies worldwide and is the biggest selling single any of the four members have had outside ABBA. Lyngstad's album sold 1.5 million copies internationally.[38] Sveriges Television, documented this historical event, by filming the whole recording process. The result became a one-hour TV documentary, including interviews with Frida, Phil, Björn, and Benny as well as all the musicians. This documentary and the promotion videos from the album are included in Frida - The DVD.

Frida's second solo album after ABBA was the experimental Shine, produced by Steve Lillywhite. "Shine" was recorded in Paris and released in 1984. "Shine" reached the Top 10 on the album charts in Sweden, Norway and Belgium and the Top 20 in the Netherlands. The leadsingle was the title track "Shine". This album was Frida's final studio album release for twelve years. The promotion videos and clips for "Shine" are included in Frida - The DVD.

Agnetha Fältskog followed in 1983 with the album Wrap Your Arms Around Me. This included the hit single "The Heat Is On", which was a hit in Europe and Scandinavia. In the US, Fältskog scored a Billboard Top 30 hit with "Can't Shake Loose". In Europe, the single "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" was another successful hit, topping the charts in Belgium and Denmark, reaching the Top 5 in Sweden and the Netherlands and the Top 20 in Germany and France. Her album sold 1.2 million copies worldwide.[39]
Fältskog's second post-ABBA solo album was Eyes of a Woman, released in March 1985, which reached #2 in Sweden and performed reasonably well in Europe. The first single from the album was "I Won't Let You Go". In November 1987, Fältskog released her third post-ABBA solo album, the Peter Cetera-produced I Stand Alone, (which also included the Billboard hit "I Wasn't The One (Who Said Goodbye)". The album sold very well in Sweden, where it spent eight weeks at #1. Later that year, however, Fältskog withdrew from public life and halted her music career for a while. In 1996, she released her autobiography, As I Am, and a compilation album featuring her solo hits alongside some ABBA classics. In 2004, she made a successful comeback, releasing the critically acclaimed album My Colouring Book, which debuted at #1 in Sweden (achieving triple-platinum status), #6 in Germany, and #12 in the UK, winning a silver award, and achieving gold status in Finland. The single "If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind" became Fältskog's biggest solo hit in the UK, reaching the #11 position. The single saw the #2 spot in Sweden and was a hit throughout Scandinavia and Europe. In January 2007, she sang a live duet on stage with Swedish singer Tommy Körberg at the after party for the final showing of the musical, Mamma Mia!, in Stockholm, at which Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus were also present.
In 1992 Frida was asked and chosen to be the chairperson for the environmental organisation "Artister för miljön" (Artists for the Environment) in Sweden. Frida accepted and became chairwoman for this organisation from 1992 to 1995. To mark her interests for the environment, she recorded the Julian Lennon song Saltwater and performed it live in Stockholm. She arranged and financed summer camps for poor children in Sweden, focusing on environmental and ecological issues. Her environmental work for this organisation led up to the decision to record again. Djupa andetag (Deep Breaths) was released towards the end of 1996 and became a huge success in Sweden, where it reached #1 and Scandinavia. The lyrics for the single from this album, "Även en blomma" (Even a Flower), deal with environmental issues.In 2004, Lyngstad recorded a song called "The Sun Will Shine Again", written especially for her and released with former Deep Purple member Jon Lord. The couple made several TV performances with this song in Germany. Lyngstad lives a low-profile life but occasionally appears at a party or charity function. On 26 August 1992, she married Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss von Plauen, of the German Reuss family. Von Plauen died of lymphoma at the age of 49. In addition to losing her husband, Lyngstad had also lost her daughter in a car crash a year earlier.

On November 15, 2005, due to Anni-Frid Lyngstad's 60th birthday, Universal released the Frida Box Set, consisting of the solo albums she recorded for the Polar Label. Included is also the 3 1/2 hour documentary Frida - The DVD. On this DVD, which covers Lyngstad's entire singing career, the viewer is guided by Frida herself through the years. From her TV debut in Sweden 1967 to the TV performances she made in Germany 2004, singing "The Sun Will Shine Again" together with Jon Lord of rock group Deep Purple. Many rare clips are included in the set and each performance is explained by Lyngstad herself. The interview with Lyngstad was filmed in the Swiss Alps, summer 2005.


The same year the members of ABBA went their separate ways, the French production of a 'tribute' show; a children's TV musical named Abbacadabra, using 14 of ABBA's songs, spawned new interest in the group's music. The London staging of the musical had stars such as Elaine Paige and Finola Hughes singing new lyrics to the old ABBA hits.

After receiving little attention during the mid 1980s, ABBA's music experienced a resurgence in the early 1990s due in part to the Australian tribute act Björn Again, and the UK synth-pop duo Erasure who released an EP featuring cover versions of ABBA's songs which topped the charts in the spring of 1992. As U2 arrived in Stockholm for a concert in June of that year, the band paid homage to ABBA by inviting Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson to join them on stage for a rendition of "Dancing Queen", playing guitar and keyboards. September 1992 saw the release of ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits, a new compilation album, which became a massive worldwide seller. The album became the most popular ABBA release ever, selling more than twenty-six million copies to date and setting chart longevity records.

The enormous interest in the Gold compilation saw the release of More ABBA Gold: More ABBA Hits in 1993. This collection also contained the bonus track "I Am the City", one of the unreleased songs from the 1982 recording sessions.
In 1994 two Australian movies caught the attention of the world's media, both focussing on admiration for ABBA: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Muriel's Wedding. The same year, Thank You for the Music, a four-disc box set comprising all the group's hits and stand-out album tracks, was released with the involvement of all four members. For this release, several demo versions and odd tracks were discovered in the Polar vaults.

ABBA were soon recognised and embraced by other acts: Evan Dando of The Lemonheads recorded a cover version of "Knowing Me, Knowing You",[40] Sinéad O'Connor and Boyzone's Stephen Gately have recorded "Chiquitita", Tanita Tikaram, and Blancmange paid tribute to "The Day Before You Came", Cliff Richard covered "Lay All Your Love On Me", while Dionne Warwick and Peter Cetera recorded their versions of "SOS". U.S. alternative-rock musician Marshall Crenshaw has also been known to play a version of "Knowing Me, Knowing You" in concert appearances, while English Latin pop songwriter Richard Daniel Roman has recognized ABBA as a major influence. Swedish metal guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen covered "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" with slightly altered lyrics. Tribute albums were released both in Sweden and the UK.
In Sweden, the growing recognition of the legacy of Andersson and Ulvaeus resulted in the 1998 B & B Concerts: a tribute concert (with Swedish singers who had worked with the composers through the years) showcasing not only their ABBA years, but even hits from the 1960s and after ABBA. The concert was a huge success, released on CD, and later toured Scandinavia and even went to Beijing in the People's Republic of China for two concerts. In 1999, Sweden saw the birth of ABBA Teens, later re-named A*Teens, recording techno-pop versions of ABBA songs to huge success worldwide: not only the English original versions, but ABBA's Spanish versions also.
In April 1999, the Mamma Mia! musical opened in London, and soon premièred in cities worldwide to huge success.

In 2000, ABBA were reported to have turned down an offer of approximately US$1,000,000,000 (one billion US dollars) to do a reunion tour consisting of 100 concerts.[41] However, this information is widely considered an urban legend, whereas the actual amount was near 1 billion Swedish Kronor (140 million US dollars). Thomas Johansson, director of the concert arranger EMA-Telstar and manager of ABBA explains "That is a kind of urban tale where people has mixed together different pieces of information. But it is true that we have been offered breathtaking sums for a reunited ABBA."

For the 2004 semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, staged in Istanbul thirty years after ABBA had won the contest in Brighton, all four members of ABBA appeared briefly in a special comedy video made for the interval act, entitled "Our Last Video Ever". Each of the four members of the group made a brief cameo role, as did others such as Cher and Rik Mayall. The video was not included in the official DVD release of the Eurovision Contest, but was issued as a separate DVD release, retitled "The Last Video" at the request of the former ABBA members. Although it was billed as the first time the four had worked together since the group split, each member was filmed separately.

In 2005 all four members of ABBA appeared at the Stockholm premiere of the musical Mamma Mia.

With Mamma Mia!'s huge success worldwide, and the 2008 film starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan, there is a huge interest in ABBA's music. However, in a November 2004 interview with the German magazine Bunte, Ulvaeus said a reunion would not satisfy ABBA's many fans, even though there are legions of them around the world often clamouring for one.

In 2008 all four ABBA members were reunited at the Swedish premiere of the film Mamma Mia! on 4 July. It was only the second time all of them had appeared together in public since 1986.[44] During the appearance, they re-emphasized that they intended never to officially reunite, citing the opinion of Robert Plant that the re-formed Led Zeppelin was more like a cover band of itself than the original band. Ulvaeus stated that he wanted the band to be remembered as they were during the peak years of their success.

Posing together with the actors from the motion picture Mamma Mia! The Movie on July 4, 2008, are the original ABBA members. Far left, Benny Andersson. Fifth from left, Agnetha Fältskog ("Anna"), with her hand on Anni-Frid Lyngstad's ("Frida") shoulder. Second from right, Björn Ulvaeus.

The compilation album ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits, originally released in 1992, returned to number one in the UK album charts for the fifth time on August 3, 2008.[46] On August 14, 2008, the Mamma Mia! The Movie film soundtrack went to number 1 on the USA Billboard Charts. While ABBA were together, the highest album chart position they ever achieved in America was No. 14. The year 2008 was the first time an "ABBA" album went to the top of the American record charts.

In 2008 the Swedish band The Airwaves recorded an ABBA tribute song "Hey You, Ring Me Tonight". The song is written by Clive Jones, who is a member of an English band Black Widow. Most recently all eight studio albums, together with a ninth of rare tracks, have been released as ABBA The Albums. Amazingly, it has hit several charts, peaking at #4 in Sweden and reaching the top 10 in several other European territories. UK release was Monday, November 24.

In 2008, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, in collabaration with Universal Music Group Sweden AB, released SingStar ABBA on both PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 video game systems as part of the SingStar music video games. The game features 20 ABBA songs on PS2 and 25 on PS3, most of them #1 hits. The game was released worldwide and as a stand-alone game.

On January 22, 2009, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad surprisingly showed up together to receive the Swedish music award "Rockbjörnen" (for "lifetime achievement") and gave an open-hearted interview onstage; the two wanted to express gratitude for the honorary award and to thank their fans. They also commented with concern on the old rumour that the two weren't friends.
[edit]Fashion, videos, advertising campaigns

ABBA were widely noted for the colourful and trend-setting costumes its members wore. The videos that accompanied some of their biggest hits are often cited as being among the earliest examples of the genre. Most of ABBA's videos (and ABBA: The Movie) were directed by Lasse Hallström, who would later direct the films My Life as a Dog, The Cider House Rules and Chocolat.

ABBA made videos because their songs were hits in many different countries and personal appearances were not always possible. This was also done in an effort to minimize traveling, particularly to countries that would have required extremely long flights. Fältskog and Ulvaeus had two young children and Fältskog, who was also afraid of flying, was very reluctant to leave her children for such a long time. ABBA's manager, Stig Anderson, realized the potential of showing a simple video clip on television to publicize a single or album, thereby allowing easier and quicker exposure than a concert tour. Some of these videos became classics because of the 1970s-era costumes and early video effects, such as the grouping of the band members in different combinations of pairs, overlapping one singer's profile with the other's full face, and the contrasting of one member against another. The director somehow managed to produce the videos with acts that seem to be integrated with the music.
In 1976, ABBA participated in a high-profile advertising campaign by the Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., which was designed to promote the brand "National". This campaign was designed initially for Australia, where "National" was still the primary brand used by Matsushita, who had not introduced the "Panasonic" brand to Australia yet despite its widespread use in other parts of the world such as the United States. However, the campaign was also aired in Japan. Five commercials, each approximately one minute long, were produced, each using the "National Song" sung by ABBA, which used the melody and instrumental arrangement of Fernando, adapted with new lyrics promoting National, and working in several slogans used by National in their advertising.

In 2008, United States Senator John McCain wanted to use the group's music in his 2008 presidential campaign but opted against it, citing licensing and other concerns.

Source: ABBA (Wikipedia)