Lasse Wellander, ABBA Guitarist, Dead at 70

Photo by Gus Stewart/Redferns

The Sweden native died Friday, April 7 after a battle with cancer.

ABBA guitarist Lasse Wellander has died at 70 years old, the musician's family announced. The Sweden native died on Friday, April 7 after a battle with cancer. 

Taking to Wellander's official Facebook page, his family wrote, "It is with indescribable sadness that we have to announce that our beloved Lasse has fallen asleep. Lasse recently fell ill in what turned out to be spread cancer and early on Good Friday he passed away, surrounded by his loved ones."

"You were an amazing musician and humble as few, but above all you were a wonderful husband, father, brother, uncle and grandfather. Kind, safe, caring and loving... and so much more, that cannot be described in words. A hub in our lives, and it's unbelievable that we now have to live on without you."

The post, written by his family members, Lena, Ludvig and Andréas, concluded, "We love and miss you so much."

Wellander began his career as a guitarist as a child in the early sixties and was a member of local bands in his hometown of Nora, Sweden. 

In October 1974, Wellander began recording with ABBA for their hits, "Intermezzo No.1" and "Crazy World." He became the Eurovision-winning band's main guitarist and toured with them in 1975, 1977, 1979 and 1980.

In 2007, Wellander helped record the soundtrack for Mamma Mia, starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, at the Atlantis Studio in Stockholm. The musical film tells the story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular 1970s group ABBA.

Wellander details the experience on his website, revealing, "Atlantis is the former Metronome Studio where many ABBA songs were recorded before the Polar Studio was built in 1979. So there was a real feeling of déjà vu when we returned to 'the scene of the crime' after 25 years to record ABBA songs again."

In addition to his work with ABBA, Wellander has released seven solo albums, two of which entered the Top 40 album charts in the mid-1980s. 

In 2005, The Royal Swedish Academy of Music awarded him the Albin Hagström Memorial Award and in 2018, Wellander was honored with the Swedish Musicians Union’s Studioräven Award for his work as a session musician.

Wellander's most recent singles -- "O Come, All Ye Faithfull," "Merry-Go-Round" and "Overdrive" -- were released in 2022.