Nearly a half-century after the release of their debut album, ABBA is still achieving musical milestones.
The Swedish pop legends scored their first Grammy Awards nomination this week. Their song “I Still Have Faith in You” is nominated for Record of the Year alongside Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” and Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” among others.
“I Still Have Faith in You” appears on “Voyage,” which is ABBA’s ninth album and first studio release in 40 years. The ballad debuted in September together with “Don’t Shut Me Down,” a more up-tempo track.
Until Tuesday, ABBA’s only previous brush with the Grammys was their 2015 induction into the Recording Academy’s Hall of Fame. Given the band’s ubiquity in pop culture, the announcement of their first-ever Grammy nod drew praise and surprise from many fans on social media.
“This is mind-boggling to me but also a reminder that the Grammy Awards aren’t a definitive reflection of music quality,” one person tweeted. Added another, “How was I living in a world where ABBA had 0 Grammy nominations?”
As of Tuesday afternoon, ABBA members Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad had yet to comment publicly on the nomination.
By all accounts, their Grammy recognition is long overdue. The group rocketed to global fame with “Waterloo,” which won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. Since then, they’ve sold an estimated 385 million albums worldwide, making them one of the best-selling pop music acts of all time. Classic hits like “Dancing Queen” and “The Winner Takes It All” have endured across generations, while artists like Shania Twain and Madonna have sampled ABBA’s catalog in their work.
Though ABBA first disbanded in 1982, their fans’ passion for those brisk, Europop melodies has never waned. The 2000 jukebox musical “Mamma Mia!” was a smash in London and on Broadway, while the 2008 film adaptation starring Pierce Brosnan and Meryl Streep became the U.K.’s highest-grossing film ever. A 2018 sequel, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,” received mixed-to-negative reviews but was nonetheless a box office hit.
“Voyage,” ABBA’s first album since 1981’s “The Visitors,” was well-received by critics and hit No. 1 in the U.K. earlier this month. It debuted at No. 2 in the U.S.