As legend has it, the members of Swedish group ABBA turned down a $1 billion offer to reunite for a comeback tour, but the two former couples did recently break bread together.
Agnetha Faltskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus, and Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad made a rare group appearance for the Jan. 20 opening of an ABBA-inspired restaurant, Stockholm’s Mamma Mia! The Party.
The foursome arrived and left separately and declined to be photographed together on the red carpet, according to reports. Though the Swedes did stand beside one another on the stage — a momentous occasion which was captured on camera.
“We are here to party,” Ulvaeus told reporters.
Beloved for their fashion-forward looks, perfect harmonies and timeless pop hooks, ABBA sold more than 380 million albums worldwide in a career that exploded in 1974 with its Eurovision Song Contest-winning performance of “Waterloo”.
The foursome split in 1982 and hasn’t performed together since 1986. ABBA’s music has enjoyed a huge boost thanks to the lucrative Mamma Mia! stage show, which opened in 1999 in London and later became a Broadway hit. The jukebox musical has grossed more than $2 billion from more than 40 international stage adaptations and been seen by more than 55 million people.
In 2008, the musical was adapted into a hit movie starring Meryl Streep and spawned its own best-selling soundtrack. The new restaurant shares the same Greek-island imagery as the musical and movie, and its menu is stacked with Mediterranean food.
The premiere of the movie Mamma Mia! marked the last time ABBA’s founding four gathered in public, and, despite the public support for the restaurant, a reunion is not in the cards. As Ulvaeus told Billboard in an interview published in 2015: “It’s kind of good to be the only group that never came back.”