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Andersson, Benny Bror Goran (18th December 1946-Present)

He is a musician and songwriter/composer born in Stockholm, Sweden.

When he was six he was given an accordion and played Swedish folksongs with his father and grandfather.   He took piano lessons when he was ten but said he found them boring.  He left school at 15 and worked at his father’s factory, performing in youth clubs in the evening.  He and his girlfriend, who never married, had two children, Peter and Helen.

In 1964 he joined the group Hep Stars and wrote their no. 1 hit “Sunny Girl” and later was a member of ABBA as well as the joint composer of the group with Bjorn Ulvaeus who he had already been working with previously.

He met Anna-Frid Lyngstad, who was also an ABBA member, in 1969 and after a 9-year engagement they married in 1978, divorcing in 1981.  One week after their divorce in November 1981 he married Mona Norklit who was a Swedish TV presenter and would later write songs with his new brother-in-law Mats Norklit .  Their son Ludvig was born in January 1982.

He has created the musicals Chess, Kristina fran Duvemala and Mamma Mia with Bjorn Ulvaeus and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music, for Chess, and a Tony for Best Orchestration for Mamma Mia.  He has been nominated for six Grammy awards, winning four.  Together with Bjorn Ulvaeus he was awarded the Ivor Novello Prize.

He has been given an honorary professorship by the Swedish government and is an advocate of Swedish traditional folk music.  He still plays the accordion and now mostly plays with his band Benny Andersson’s Orkester.

Abba Recordings
Elaine (Bjorn Ulvaeus /Benny Andersson)
I’m A Marionette (Bjorn Ulvaeus /Benny Andersson)
Take A Chance on Me (Bjorn Ulvaeus /Benny Andersson)
The Winner Takes It All (Bjorn Ulvaeus /Benny Andersson)

Anne Sofie von Otter recordings
After the Rain (Benny Andersson/Mats Norklit )
Day before You Came, The (Bjorn Ulvaeus /Benny Andersson)
Heaven Help My Heart (from ”Chess”) (Benny Andersson/Bjorn Ulvaeus/Tim Rice )

Here is performng the piano piece “Oppna alla grindar”…

Sources:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Andersson
  2. www.setasign.net/bennyen.html