ABBA's Anni-Frid Lyngstad: 8 interesting facts

15 June 2018, 15:48

Anni Frid Lyngstad

Anna-Frid Lyngstad was one quarter of the world's biggest pop group of the 1970s and 80s.

Along with Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus and former husband Benny Andersson, she helped create some of pop's finest ever moments as part of ABBA.

Here are all the big facts all ABBA fans should know about Anni-Frid:

1. Was Anni-Frid actually born in Sweden, and who was her father?

anni-frid lyngstad

Anni-Frid was born in Bjørkåsen, a small village in Ballangen near Narvik, in northern Norway. She had a Norwegian mother, Synni (1926-1947), and a German father, Alfred Haase (1919-2009), who was a sergeant in the Wehrmacht, not long after the end of the Second World War.

In 1947, Anni-Frid, her mother Synni, and her maternal grandmother Agny, left Norway, fearing reprisals against anyone who had dealings with the Germans during the occupation of the country. She settled in Sweden with her grandmother, before her mother died of kidney failure aged just 21.

Anni-Frid believed that her father had died during the war on his way back to Germany, as his ship was reported to have sunk. However, it was revealed in 1977, thanks to a piece in the German teen magazine Bravo of all places, that he was alive. Her half-brother, Peter Haase, asked his father if he had been in Ballangen during the war. A few months later, Anni-Frid met her father in Stockholm for the first time.

2. When did Anni-Frid join ABBA?

Abba

She began singing at the age of 13, and in 1967 she won the Swedish national talent competition New Faces, and won a recording contract.

After releasing a few records, in 1969 she participated in Melodifestivalen, the Swedish heats for the Eurovision Song Contest, and finished in fourth place. Backstage she met her future husband and ABBA band mate Benny Andersson.

Benny produced her debut album Frida in 1971, and a year later she agreed to join him alongside his friend Bjorn Ulvaeus and his girlfriend Agnetha Faltskog in a new group, ABBA.

3. How many solo albums has Anni-Frid released?

Anni-Frid has released five solo albums, starting with 1971's Frida.

Her most recent album was 1996's Djupa andetag.

4. How old is Anni-Frid Lyngstad?

Anni-Frid was born on November 15, 1945.

She celebrates her 73rd birthday in 2018. 

5. When was Anni-Frid Lyngstad married to Benny Andersson?

abba

After meeting in 1969, the couple were living together by 1971. However, they did not marry until October 6 1978, during the height of ABBA's fame.

After just two years of marriage, they separated in 1980, and were divorced in 1981.

6. Who was Anni-Frid Lyngstad's other husbands?

Anni Frid Lyngstad and young family

Before meeting Benny, she married salesperson and musician Ragnar Fredriksson in 1964, aged 18. They separated in 1968, and were officially divorced in 1970. On the very same day, her grandmother died, aged 71.

In 1986, she relocated to Switzerland, and lived with her boyfriend, an architect named Prince Heinrich Ruzzo Reuss, Count of Plauen, in his family castle in Fribourg.

In 1992, she married Ruzzo. In doing so, she became the stepmother of the Prince of Reuss of Plauen's two daughters, Princess Henriette Anna-Bess Helle Mette Reuss, Countess of Plauen, and Princess Pauline Margaretha Emma-Louise Mette Reuss, Countess of Plauen, who are twins.

Ruzzo died of lymphoma in October 1999, leaving Anni-Frid known as the Dowager Princess of Reuss.

She currently shares a home with her British boyfriend Henry Smith, 5th Viscount Hambleden at Zermatt, Switzerland.

7. How many children does Anni-Frid Lyngstad have?

With Ragnar, Anni-Frid had two children: Hans (born 1963) and Ann Lise-Lotte (born 1967).

Ann tragically died at the age of 30 after a car accident in New York.

8. What is Anni-Frid Lyngstad's net worth?

Anni-Frid is estimated to have a net worth of around $300 million (£225m).