20210909 abba
File photo: Members of the pop group ABBA, from left, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Foltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Image Credit: AP

London: Two members of ABBA have insisted in an interview to air in Britain on Thursday that the Swedish pop icons won't perform at next year's Eurovision Song Contest in their homeland.

Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, one half of ABBA, downplayed the prospect despite Sweden hosting Eurovision on the 50th anniversary of the band's win - the country's first - with their breakthrough hit "Waterloo".

The Nordic nation is set to stage the world's biggest live music event for the seventh time after Swedish singer Loreen won this year's contest, hosted by Britain on behalf of war-torn Ukraine.

Her victory at the eccentric, much-loved competition in Liverpool this month prompted immediate speculation that ABBA could take to the stage next year.

However, in an interview with the BBC's Newsnight programme, Andersson said there is "no way" the group will make a celebratory performance or even appearance.

"I don't want to. And if I don't want to, the others won't. It's the same for all four of us. Someone says no - it's a no," he explained.

Ulvaeus added: "We can celebrate 50 years of ABBA without us being on stage."

ABBA - which also comprised Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and is an acronym of their first names - shot to international fame after their 1974 Eurovision success.

The band went on to sell hundreds of millions of records and top the charts worldwide, including in the United States in 1977 with "Dancing Queen" - their only stateside number one.

Other global hits include "Super Trouper", "Money, Money, Money" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You".

In 1981, the group released what they said would be a final album and split up the following year.

But their success continued, notably with the compilation "ABBA Gold" released in 1992, and in 2021 they made a comeback, releasing their first new album in nearly 40 years.

'Surpassing every expectation'

They also launched a new concert format featuring de-aged digital avatars - dubbed "ABBAtars" - in London who perform their hits and resemble their 1979 selves.

Ulvaeus and Andersson said the show's success was "surpassing every expectation".

"We achieved more than we could ever hope for... seeing this happening after four or five years of work... and realising that the audience actually connected to what was on stage," Andersson told the BBC.

He added that he would like to take the show to Australia in the future.

"It would feel good to go back there and say thank-you to Australians for supporting us from day one."