Anni-Frid Synni Lyngstad, better known simply as Frida, was born 15th November 1945 in the town of Ballangen outside of Narvik, Norway. By way of contrast to the other ABBA members, Frida's early days were very dramatic.
Her father was a German soldier, while her mother Synni was a Norwegian teenage girl, and their liaison was not well-thought of in a country occupied by the Germans. Frida's father Alfred Haase left Norway before Frida was born, and was thought to have vanished when his ship was sunk on the way back to Germany.
Due to the controversy surrounding her father and the fact the she was born out of wedlock, Frida's grandmother decided to take Frida with her and move to Sweden. The two of them ended up in Torshälla, just outside of Eskilstuna. Synni soon joined them, but tragically, less than two years after Frida was born, her mother also died.
Music was a source of comfort for Frida, and at the age of 11 she made her stage debut at a Red Cross charity event. Two years later, she started working as an underage vocalist with the dance orchestra Ewald Eks kvintett.
In October 1961, she progressed to Bengt Sandlund's big band, where she met her first husband Ragnar Fredriksson. Together they had two children: Hans, born in 1963 and Lise-Lotte, born in 1967. By 1964, Frida and Ragnar had left Bengt Sandlund's band and formed their own group, Anni-Frid Four.
Parallell with this, Frida also entered several talent contests, and on 3 September 1967 she found herself on stage at Skansen in Stockholm. She sang the song En ledig dag (a cover of Weekend In Portofino), and won the contest. Immediately after her victory, she was surprised by the announcement that she was to appear on national television singing her winning song.
Soon afterwards, Frida signed to EMI records, and released her first single, which of course was En ledig dag. None of her early singles were hits, although Du är så underbart rar (a version of the Frankie Valli hit Can't Take My Eyes Off You) was quite popular in Frida's interpretation.
She was popular as a stage artist, however, and toured the Folkparks with famous Swedish artists such as Lasse Lönndahl in 1968. Frida began an 18 month collaboration with jazz pianist Charlie Norman in 1969. Together, they did a couple of floor shows and toured the Folkparks in 1969 and 1970.
Meanwhile, she continued releasing singles, and in March 1969 she entered Melodifestivalen (the Swedish selections for the Eurovision Song Contest) with Härlig är vår jord. This song also meant her first foray into the charts, when she spent one week at Number Eight on the voting-based radio chart Svensktoppen.
Although Benny had entered a composition in the same edition of Melodifestivalen as Frida (Hej clown, co-written with Lars Berghagen) and was present at the contest, curiously Frida did not meet him for the first time until a few days later when they both were working in Malmö in the South of Sweden. It was not long after this first meeting that they both became a couple, and Benny soon started producing Frida's records.
The first result of this partnership was the September 1969 recording of Peter Pan, written by Benny with Björn Ulvaeus - the very first collaboration between three future ABBA members. When released as a single A-side the song did not make many waves, however, and although the recording was pleasant enough there was little trace of any ABBA magic.
In May 1970, Frida made her second apperance in the Svensktoppen chart, spending two weeks and reaching Number Eight with Där du går lämnar kärleken spår, her Swedish cover of the Edison Lighthouse UK Number One Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes).
The big hits continued to elude her, but after this her eighth single, EMI still decided that it would be worth a try to record her debut album. Sessions for the Benny-produced Frida started in September 1970, and the album was released in the spring of 1971. A single was released from the project, En liten sång om kärlek (a version of Five Pennies Saints from the Danny Kaye movie Five Pennies), but it did not become a hit.
At the same time as sessions for the album started, Frida and Benny teamed up with another engaged couple, Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog, and put together the cabaret act Festfolket, which opened in Gothenburg on 1 November 1970. This was not a very successful venture, although the four toured the show until February 1971.
The summer of 1971 saw Frida tour the Folkparks with Lars Berghagen, and in the autumn she got her first Svensktoppen Number One with Min egen stad, a Swedish version of Benny's It's Nice To Be Back which he had written for his group the Hep Stars in 1967.
In October 1971, Frida went on stage in the variety show Mina favoriter , which continued to take up most of her time during the spring of 1972. In January, she recorded her last single for EMI, Vi är alla bara barn i början, and the next time she released a solo single it was on the Polar label: Man vill ju leva lite dessemellan reached Number One on Svensktoppen and spent 10 weeks on the chart in the autumn of 1972.
Before that, however, the first ABBA single, People Need Love, had been recorded and released. As the ABBA phenomenon exploded onto the world in 1974 and 1975, Frida recorded her last Swedish-language solo album for a while. Frida ensam was produced by Benny, and was released in November 1975. It was her first major sales success, and went on to sell an impressive 130,000 copies.
In 1977, an article about ABBA in the German pop magazine Bravo, listing the biographical details of each member, happened to catch the eye of one Andrea Buchinger.
She noticed that her uncle had exactly the same name as the supposedly disappeared father of Frida, and contacted her cousin Peter, who asked his father whether he had known a girl called Synni Lyngstad while he was in Norway in 1945. When his father admitted that this was so, Peter held up a large picture of Frida in front of him and said, "in that case, this is your daughter".
And so, Alfred Haase came to Stockholm to meet with his hitherto unknown daughter. "We started to cry both of us," Frida was to recall of the meeting, "but it's difficult to get a father when you are 32 years old. You can't love him the way you would have if you had grown up with him around. But he is a very nice and decent man, and I'm happy to have a father."
In November 1981 ABBA's final album The Visitors was released, and although they continued recording up until the autumn of 1982, there was a definite feeling that the group was not the close entity that they used to be. Agnetha and Björn had got divorced in 1979, and Benny's and Frida's marriage in October 1978 was followed by divorce in early 1981.
Thus, in February 1982 Frida started recording her first English language solo album Something's Going On, produced by Phil Collins. Indeed, it was Collins' 1981 "divorce album" Face Value that got Frida interested in working with him. Singles from the album inlcuded I Know There's Something Going On, which was followed by To Turn The Stone, Here We'll Stay and I See Red. The album went on to sell close to 1 million copies worldwide.
In 1983, Frida participated in the musical project Abbacadabra - a fantasy musical featuring ABBA songs set to new lyrics - and recorded French and English language versions of ABBA's Arrival under the titles Belle (a duet with Daniel Balavoine) and Time (a duet with B.A. Robertson) respectively. Both these tracks were released on singles.
The summer of 1984 saw her back in the studio for the recording of yet another solo album. This time the producer was Steve Lillywhite, and the result was Shine. Singles off the album included the title track, Come To Me (I Am Woman), Heart Of The Country, and Twist In The Dark. The album was not a great success, and Frida was beginning to tire of life in the public eye. Thus, this was to become her last album for twelve years.
In 1987, she guested on the hit single Så länge vi har varann (also recorded in English as As Long As I Have You) by the Swedish group Ratata, but except for her contribution to the all-star female choir on the title track of Benny's Klinga mina klockor ("Ring, My Bells") album the same year, her voice was not to grace any recordings at all for five years.
Over the next years, Frida devoted most of her public activities to her commitment to environment issues, and especially the Swedish organisation Det naturliga steget ("The Natural Step") and its offshoot Artister för miljö ("Artists For The Environment").
It was as part of this latter group that she returned to the recording studio in 1992 and recorded a version of Swedish composer Evert Taube's classic Änglamark ("Angels' Earth"). For the B-side of this single release, she recorded a solo version of Julian Lennon's Saltwater.
A personal friend of Sweden's King and Queen, she was part of the team that organized Queen Silvia's 50th birthday gala in December 1993. She performed a version of ABBA's Dancing Queen with the Swedish vocal group The Real Group at the gala, and this arrangement of the song was released on a 1994 Real Group album.
Two years later, Frida finally felt the time was right to step back into the recording studio again, and the result was the Swedish language Djupa andetag ("Deep Breaths"), released in September 1996. A major hit, the album reached Number Two on the Swedish charts, and sold more than 100,000 copies. Singles included Även en blomma ("A Flower Also"), Ögonen ("The Eyes"), and Alla mina bästa år ("All My Best Years"), a duet with Marie Fredriksson of Roxette.
At the time of writing, there has been indications that Frida may return to the recording studio in 1999 for the purpose of recording a new, English-language album. So far, only a few tryout sessions with various producers have been completed, but it certainly looks as though Frida may be ready for some kind of international career again.