ABBA guitarist Lasse Wellander dies aged 70, band pays tribute to his “musical brilliance”

“Lasse was a dear friend, a fun guy and a superb guitarist,” the band stated.

ABBA guitarist Lasse Wellander

Image: abba via Instagram

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Longtime ABBA guitarist Lasse Wellander has died on Friday, 7 April, at the age of 70.

In a post on Wellander’s official Facebook page, his family said that the musician had passed “surrounded by those closest to him” after his cancer spread.

“Lasse was a dear friend, a fun guy and a superb guitarist,” a statement from the Swedish quartet read. “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.”

Growing up in the small village of Skrikarhyttan, Sweden, Wellander first worked with the band — comprising members Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — as a session musician on their self-titled 1975 album before becoming the main guitarist on their subsequent LPs.

He can be heard on hits such as Knowing Me, Knowing You and The Winner Takes It All.

Over the decades, Wellander has been credited as a guitarist or producer on more than six thousand songs in total by various artists. He’s also released seven solo albums, with his latest one being 2018’s 2017/2018.

In 2005, he received the Albin Hagström Memorial Award from the Royal Academy of Music and in 2018 the Swedish Association of Musicians’ honorary award for his work in the recording studio.

Speaking about working with ABBA again on their 2022 studio album Voyage (the band’s last record was in 1981), Lasse told Sunday Express, “I played with many different groups and artists, but working with ABBA was of course always a bit special. It is a real honour and a privilege for me to be involved with them again.”

Fans from around the world have paid tribute to Wellander’s legacy following his passing. Read them below.


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