Renowned guitarist Lasse Wellander, known for his longtime association with Swedish pop group ABBA has died. He passed away on Friday, April 7, at the age of 70, after a short battle with cancer.
Separate statements from the guitarist’s family and the band confirmed his death. Wellander was not a core member of ABBA but worked on a number of tracks and albums with the group beginning in 1974. Read on to know all about his life and career.
ABBA Guitarist Lasse Wellander Passes Away at 70
Wellander’s family posted a statement on his official Facebook page on Sunday to announce his demise: “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 statement read further.
ABBA Pays Tribute to the Guitarist
The band paid tribute to Wellander with a post on Instagram. “Lasse was a dear friend, a fun guy and a superb guitarist. The importance of his creative input in the recording studio as well as his rock solid guitar work on stage was immense,” wrote band members Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Frida Lyngstad.
“We mourn his tragic and premature death and remember the kind words, the sense of humour, the smiling face, the musical brilliance of the man who played such an integral role in the ABBA story. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten,” they added.
Fans also expressed their grief over the death of their favorite musician. “I’m very saddened to hear this. Lasse was a truly superb guitarist, and his solo in ‘Eagle’, especially the live version, is one of the great moments in pop music history. RIP legend,” tweeted a fan.
Wellander Began his Career as a Teenager
Born in 1952, Wellander began playing with the band Peps & Blues Quality during his teenage years in 1968. In 1974, he recorded his first session with ABBA and released the tracks Intermezzo No.1 and Crazy World. He then became the main guitarist for the group and worked on several albums, including Chess, Gemini, and the most recent, Voyage, in 2021.
In 1982, Lyngstad, Andersson, Ulvaeus, and Fältskog split; however, Wellander stayed with ABBA, playing with Benny and Björn. He also worked with several other bands, including Zkiffz, Sweet Soul Music, Stockholm All Stars, Low Budget Blues, and Little Mike.
The guitarist released seven studio albums in his career, two of which reached the Top 40 charts. He was also honored with Albin Hagström Memorial Award from The Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 2005 and the Studioräven Award from the Swedish Musicians Union in 2018.
May Lasse Wellander’s soul rest in peace! Stay tuned for more news and updates.