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Wednesday, 3 July, 2002, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Sweden honours Abba's Benny
Benny Andersson (r) with the other members of Abba in their heyday
Andersson [R] co-wrote Abba's string of hits
Abba member Benny Andersson has been given an honorary professorship by the Swedish Government for his "ability to create high-class music reaching people around the world".

As well as his string of hits such as Waterloo, Fernando and Dancing Queen with the pop quartet, he has recently scored a success with the musical Mamma Mia.

Abba's Agnetha and Frida in a familiar pose
The band is part of Sweden's international image
Co-written with Abba songwriting partner Bjorn Ulvaeus, the musical has been a hit in London's West End and on New York's Broadway.

It recently missed out on gongs at Broadway's Tony Awards, despite receiving five nominations.

The pair were also responsible for the epic musical Kristina fran Duvemala, inspired by Swedish novelist Wilhelm Moberg, and Chess, a love story set against the background of cold war politics.

But it was the band's success in the 1974 Eurovision song contest with Waterloo and their subsequent flurry of hits for which 55-year-old Andersson is best known.

Abba helped boost the Scandinavian country's reputation for producing melodic pop that could compete in European singles charts.

Solo projects

Surviving marriage break-ups between the two couples who made up the band, Abba finally decided to split in 1983.

Frida Lyngstad and Agnetha Faltskog released solo projects, but neither was able to match their previous success.

The disco hits the band produced remain popular, however, with compilations still selling well.

Andersson has also recorded a compact disc of traditional Swedish folk songs featuring accordion and choir music.

The Swedish government awards honorary rofessorships to people deemed to have made extraordinary contributions in their field.

See also:

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