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ABBA pay tribute to long-term guitarist Lasse Wellander after his death aged 70
10 April 2023, 12:49 | Updated: 10 April 2023, 13:02
ABBA have paid tribute to long-term guitarist Lasse Wellander who passed away after a battle with cancer on Friday
The Swedish musician performed with the seminal group during their peak in the 70s and 80s.
His death was announced in a statement by the late guitarist's family on Sunday, reading: "It is with indescribable sadness that we have to announce that our beloved Lasse has fallen asleep.
"Lasse recently fell ill with what turned out to be cancer that had spread, and early on Good Friday he passed away surrounded by his loved ones."
The emotional announcement concluded: "We love and miss you so much."
A statement from ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad mused upon Lasse's character and creative input with the group.
They said that the deceased musician was a "dear friend, a fun guy and a superb guitarist who will be deeply missed".
ABBA added: "The importance of his creative input in the recording studio as well as his rock solid guitar work on stage was immense.
"We mourn his tragic and premature death and remember the kind words, the sense of humour, the smiling face, the musical brilliance of the man who played such an integral role in the ABBA story.
"He will be deeply missed and never forgotten."
Before partnering with Abba, Wellander was a member of local groups, including Nature, who served as the backing band of Swedish singer-songwriter Ted Gardestad.
It was through Gardestad that he met Ulvaeus and Andersson, the male members of Abba, and later toured with the Eurovision winners in 1975, 1977, 1979 and 1980.
When Abba split, he appeared on the Chess concept album and the soundtracks to Mamma Mia! The Movie and its sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
He also appeared on Faltskog's solo albums, Wrap Your Arms Around Me from 1983 and My Colouring Book from 2004. Most recently, Wellander played on Abba's number one comeback album Voyage, released in 2021.
In 2005, he received the Albin Hagstrom Memorial Award from the Royal Swedish Academy Of Music and in 2018 the Swedish Musicians' Union's special prize for his work as a session musician.