ABBA’s Longtime Guitarist Lasse Wellander Passes Away at 70

The iconic Swedish pop group ABBA is mourning the loss of their longtime guitarist, Lasse Wellander. The band announced the news on Instagram that Wellander had passed away at the age of 70. ABBA members Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad, and Benny Andersson wrote a heartfelt message about their dear friend, describing him as “a fun guy and a superb guitarist.” They praised his creative input in the recording studio and rock-solid guitar work on stage, saying his importance was immense. The band shared a black and white photo of Wellander performing with them and wrote, “He will be deeply missed and never forgotten.

Lasse Wellander dead

Wellander was born in Skrekarhyttan, a small village in Sweden. He fell in love with music at a young age and learned to play the guitar after watching The Beatles on TV in 1963. He joined ABBA in 1974 after Björn and Benny invited him to play guitar for their group. Wellander believed in ABBA’s potential from the start, saying, “I thought it would be big quite early on.” He enjoyed playing all of ABBA’s music, but he particularly liked “Eagle” because he had a long guitar solo in that song.

Even after ABBA stopped recording new music and going out on tour, Wellander continued to work with Björn and Benny. He collaborated with the band on the soundtrack to the “Mamma Mia!” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” films and ABBA’s album Voyage, released in November 2021. In addition, Wellander played with several other groups during the 80s, including Low Budget Blues Band, Zkiffz, Little Mike and the Sweet Soul Music Band, and Stockholm All-Stars.

Wellander’s family announced that the musician died after his cancer had spread. The family paid tribute to him on his official Facebook page, saying, “You were an amazing musician and humble as few, but above all, you were a wonderful husband, father, brother, uncle, and grandfather.” They described him as kind, safe, caring, and loving, adding that he was much more than words could describe. The family said that it was unbelievable that they would have to live without him and that they loved and missed him so much.

Wellander’s talent as a musician was celebrated, and he released seven studio albums, two of which made the Top 40 album charts. He received the Albin Hagström Memorial Award from The Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 2005 and the Swedish Musicians Union’s prestigious special prize Studioräven Award in 2018, for his work as a session musician.