How did Lasse Wellander die? Inside longtime ABBA guitarist's career amid his death at 70
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: Lasse Wellander, a longtime ABBA guitarist who toured with the Swedish supergroup for many years, died on Good Friday. The 70-year-old music icon was a major contributor to the band's popularity in the '70s and '80s and appeared in several of their best singles. It was Lasse's relatives who broke the tragic news.
They said in an emotional Facebook post, ‘It is with indescribable sadness that we have to announce that our beloved Lasse has fallen asleep, Lasse recently fell ill with what turned out to be cancer that had spread, and early on Good Friday he passed away surrounded by his loved ones. "We love and miss you very much", it ended.
A look at Wellander's career
Lasse first picked up a guitar when he was a little boy in Nora, Sweden. He joined Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad in ABBA in October 1974 and they started recording. They continued to produce major tunes like 'Crazy World' and 'Intermezzo No 1'. Whenever ABBA was on tour in Europe, Australia, or Japan, Wellander accompanied them. Wellander continued to collaborate with other Swedish artists as what he would call 'a freelancer'.
According to information gathered up to March 2020 by the Swedish Artists' and Musicians' Interest Group, the prolific session guitarist contributed to 1,698 albums and 6,331 singles during his career. Lasse also went on tour with the 'Waterloo' hitmakers, performing in front of crowded venues in 1975, 1977, 1979, and 1980. The late guitarist continued to perform, playing all eight of ABBA's albums and more than 20 of their songs. He went on tour with the band as well, playing to raucous, sold-out audiences.
His recent contributions
Wellander also contributed to the soundtracks of both ABBA jukebox musicals, 'Mamma Mia!' in 2008 and 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' in 2018, which featured Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, among others. He was also present in 'Voyager', which was an unofficial reunion for the band and is the last ABBA album to date. All four members of the iconic quartet were part of the band's unexpected reunion, and 10 new tracks were released. Lasse was involved in the creation of this album which was published in November 2021.
Wellander received several honors throughout his profession, including the coveted 'Litteris et Artibus Swedish Royal Medal' in 2010. Together with other ABBA members, he was ultimately inducted into the Swedish Music Hall of Fame in 2014.