ABBA get a prestigious Swedish knighthood for their pop career that started at Eurovision

Jun 3, 2024, 1:20 PM

The artists Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Reuss, Agnetha Fältskog and Benny Andersson (ABBA). Photo: J...

The artists Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Reuss, Agnetha Fältskog and Benny Andersson (ABBA). Photo: Jonas Borg/King. (Jonas Borg/Kungl. Hovstaterna)

(Jonas Borg/Kungl. Hovstaterna)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The four members of the Swedish pop quartet ABBA, who triumphed at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with the peppy love song “Waterloo,” on Friday got one of the most prestigious knighthoods in Sweden from the Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.

The Order of the Vasa was handed out for the first time in almost 50 years. Agnetha Faltskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad became “Commander of the First Class” of the order for “very outstanding efforts in Swedish and international music life.”

Sweden has several orders, including the Royal Order of Seraphim, which is awarded to heads of state and foreign royals, and the Royal Order of the Polar Star that is given to foreign citizens and stateless persons.

The Royal Order of Vasa, which is given in recognition of personal efforts for Sweden or for Swedish interests as well as the successful performance of public duties and assignments, was dormant until late 2022, when it was reactivated after regulations opened the Royal Orders to Swedish citizens again.

Earlier this year, candidates were nominated by the public and the Swedish government and the king approved the nominees that included the four ABBA members.

The orders were awarded during a solemn ceremony at the Royal Palace in the gilded Vita Havet Assembly Rooms. The monarch handed them the order in a red box while a diploma was given to them by Queen Silvia.

”The order you get today is Sweden’s thanks for your exceptional efforts,” the monarch said before handing out orders to “13 exceptional Swedes.”

Andersson, Faltskog, Lyngstad, who now uses the last name Reuss walked up using a cane, and Ulvaeus received the order in an event that was aired live on Swedish media.

The Eurovision victory turned ABBA into a pop juggernaut, by far the most successful band to win the pan-continental music contest. ABBA’s melodic disco pop sold hundreds of millions of records worldwide. The stage musical “Mamma Mia!” based on its songs is 25 years old and spawned two movies.

Coincidentally, the 2024 Eurovision was held in southern Sweden. Swiss singer Nemo won the 68th contest with “The Code,” an operatic pop-rap ode to the singer’s journey toward embracing a nongender identity.

The Swedish band members have not performed together live for four decades, but released a comeback album, “Voyage,” in 2021. The digital “ABBA-tars” opened in London in 2022.

Two other recipients were two 2023 Nobel Prize winners: French-Swedish physicist Anne L’Huillier, and Svante Pääbo, who won the coveted award in physics and medicine. They were both made Commander Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Polar Star for “outstanding research efforts.”

KSL 5 TV Live


A grid with still pictures from nine films...

Larry D. Curtis

Sundance offers free film festival screenings to Utah audiences in July

Many associate the Sundance Film Festival with snowy streets in the annual winter film festival, but Utahns will have a chance to see free screenings, including outdoors, in July.

5 hours ago

Mark Shipley pictured during his time in the Navy while stationed on Coronado Island, California. (...

Mary Culbertson

Utah actor honored by Hugh Jackman for his contribution to actors all over the U.S.

An actor and owner of a gallery theater settled down in Utah and affected theater communities nationally. Recently, he was honored by Australian actor Hugh Jackman.

2 days ago

Image released as part of a drafted plan to reimagine downtown into an "experience zone." (Smith En...

Lindsay Aerts

SEG downtown plans include new hotel, housing, jumbotron and ‘experience’ plaza

Smith Entertainment Group executive Mike Maughan sat down for an interview with KSL's Lindsay Aerts on Monday to discuss the group's plans for downtown's revitalization.

3 days ago

The ride replaces Splash Mountain. That attraction was based on the 1946 film "Song of the South," ...

Natasha Chen, CNN

A new Disney ride opens soon, splashing right out of the culture wars

A ride based on the story of Disney’s first Black princess opens to the public on June 28 in Orlando, Florida, replacing the decades-old Splash Mountain attraction that was beloved by many Disney fans yet also widely criticized.

3 days ago

This image released by Sony Pictures shows Will Smith, left, and Martin Lawrence in "Bad Boys: Ride...

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’ boosts Will Smith’s comeback and the box office with $56 million opening

“Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” the fourth installment in the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence action comedy series, opened with an estimated $56 million in theaters over the weekend, handing Hollywood a much-needed summer hit and Smith his biggest success since he slapped Chris Rock at the Academy Awards.

4 days ago

FILE - This brick house in Winnetka, Ill., seen Friday, May 6, 2011, was featured in the 1990 movie...

Associated Press

‘Home Alone’ house being sold. Swinging paint cans not included

The home of Kevin McCallister’s hijinks is changing hands for $5.25 million.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

ABBA get a prestigious Swedish knighthood for their pop career that started at Eurovision