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Björn Christian Ulvaeus was born in Göteborg Sweden on April 25th 1945. In 1951 he and his family moved to a small town at the East coast of Sweden called Västervik. At the age of eleven he got his first guitar. It is said that he learned his first chords from his cousin Jon. In his teenage years he joined his cousin's skiffle group. When the group transformed into a traditional-jazz band Björn played the banjo. One of the other members of the band was a guy called Tony Rooth. When the leader of Mackie's Skiffle Group, Hansi Schwarz, asked Tony to join his group, Tony agreed on the condition that Björn could join them as well.  

By 1962 the group had changed their style to folk music and they now called themselves West Bay Singers. Björn's mother entered the group for an amateur national talent contest 'Plats på scen', which was sponsored by Swedish Radio. This was when Stikkan Anderson, who had just established the record company called Polar Music together with his partner Bengt Bernhag, noticed them.

The West Bay Singers won the contest with a Swedish song, which also became their first record release for Polar Music. Stikkan Anderson persuaded Björn and his friends to change the name of their group to “the Hootenanny Singers”. After all the members of the group had graduated from school the Hootenanny Singers toured professionally and went on to become very popular in Sweden.

In 1966 Björn and two other members had to do military service but fortunately they were able to combine army training with musical activities. Following their service the group members decided to pursue University educations. Björn chose to study in Stockholm. Alongside his studies he worked in the Polar Music offices and made his first attempts at song writing.

Björn became increasingly interested in a musical career. This feeling was strengthened when he met Benny Andersson, a member of the Hep Stars in 1966, who seemed to be able to make a living out of music. By 1968 Björn started to make solo records as well. By the end of the 1960's Björn became more interested in popular music. When Björn was asked by Benny to come along as a replacement for the Hep Stars' guitarist during a concert in Finland, Björn decided to give up studying. This was the start of the partnership between Björn and Benny.

In May 1969 Björn met Agnetha Fältskog during the recording of a TV special 'Räkna de lyckliga stunderna blott', a tribute to Swedish songwriter Jules Sylvain recorded at the West coast of Sweden. They fell in love and married in 1971. They had two children: a daughter Linda in 1973 and a son Christian in 1977. From 1970 and on Björn and Benny started to work as producers for Stikkan Anderson. Eventually ABBA was formed when both Björn and Benny's musical careers became more and more involved with those of their partners. Glorious years in ABBA lay ahead...

In December 1978 Björn and Agnetha announced their divorce. This was the first crack to appear in what had been the 'ABBA fairy tale'. When ABBA disbanded around 1982, Björn continued his partnership with Benny. Since then, they have written two musicals together, and have also cooperated in several other projects. Over the years Björn has become more and more focused in writing lyrics, rather than composing songs and producing in the studio. Since his achievements as lyricist for the musical 'Kristina från Duvemåla', Björn is regarded as one of Sweden's foremost lyricists. In 1999 Björn was awarded the Swedish Royal honor 'Litteris et Artibus', a medal for his artistic contributions.

In 1980 Björn married his present wife Lena Kallersjö. They had two daughters, Emma in 1982 and Anna in 1986. The family Ulvaeus moved to the United Kingdom short after the release of the Chess studio album in October 1984. It hampered his co-operation with Benny Andersson somewhat. This fact may have contributed to his decision to return to live in Sweden in 1992. The family Ulvaeus now lives in the Stockholm suburb Djursholm.

Björn can be frequently found at the Mono Music offices in Stockholm where he discusses work with his colleague and friend Benny and his representative Görel Hanser. He likes to read, loves his morning walks and is interested in computers and artificial intelligence. When reading he always considers whether the story might be a suitable starting point for a new musical...



 

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