Swedish superstar group Abba announced Thursday they are releasing a new album, Voyage, and will “perform” a concert — as digital characters — in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Band members Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson appeared in person to make the announcement at the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford, London.
The announcement was made on a YouTube live stream event, which saw over 200,000 people across the world tuning in.
The live stream, on Abba’s official YouTube channel, began with a new song, I Still Have Faith In You, sung by their avatars, also known as Abba-tars.
The group created social media channels specifically for the Abba Voyage project last week. Fans were told to join Abba at abbavoyage.com, where they could register to be the “first in line” to hear more about the project.
Join us at <a href=”https://t.co/AAFQLIrqJu”>https://t.co/AAFQLIrqJu</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ABBAVoyage?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#ABBAVoyage</a> <a href=”https://t.co/7LYw3kojzB”>pic.twitter.com/7LYw3kojzB</a>
On Tuesday, the band posted another teaser on Twitter encouraging fans to join them at 5:45 p.m. U.K. time on Thursday to be part of a “historic” event.
“The journey is about to begin,” the tweet said.
Join us at 5:45pm (UK time) this Thursday for a special livestream announcement on YouTube. The journey is about to begin.<a href=”https://t.co/BxY6Fk8HpN”>https://t.co/BxY6Fk8HpN</a><a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ABBAVoyage?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#ABBAVoyage</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/ABBA?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#ABBA</a> <a href=”https://t.co/MioZavGZ4J”>pic.twitter.com/MioZavGZ4J</a>
Abba’s road to reuniting
The Swedish pop group — made up of Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — is best known for hit singles like Dancing Queen and The Winner Takes It All, which were adapted for the musical Mama Mia! in 1999.
Since performing their song Waterloo at the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, England, in 1974, Abba is estimated to have sold almost 400 million singles and albums across the world.
The band, which initially consisted of two married couples, split in 1983 after marriage breakups between Ulvaeus and Faltskog, and Lyngstad and Andersson.
Around a decade after disbanding, the group released ABBA GOLD: Greatest Hits in 1992, which became a worldwide bestseller.
In 2016, all four members of the group celebrated Abba’s 50th anniversary by performing on stage together for the first time in 30 years. The last time the band was seen together prior was during the launch of the Mama Mia! film in 2008.
The band announced that they had recorded two new songs, I Still Have Faith In You and Don’t Shut Me Down, in 2018, their first recorded material in 35 years.