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Stig 'Stikkan' Erik Leopold Anderson (né Andersson) (25 January 1931 – 12 September 1997) was born in Hova, Sweden, and is best known as the manager of the pop group ABBA.

As well as being the manager of the Swedish supergroup, Anderson was also the founder of the Polar Music record label. Initially beginning his career as a chemistry and mathematics teacher after leaving school at the age of 15,[1] Anderson soon migrated to the Swedish music scene, becoming a music producer, manager and also occasional performer. He had begun writing songs as early as 1951, and in 1959 he got his breakthrough with the song "Är du kär i mig ännu, Klas-Göran?" ("Are You Still In Love With Me, Klas-Göran?"), written for Swedish singer Lill-Babs. During the 1960s he was one of Sweden's most prolific songwriters, producing more than 3,000 published titles. Anderson also founded Sweden Music in 1960, as well as several other companies. By the late 1960s, he was the manager and producer of Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (the two main songwriters of ABBA), joining the careers of these two after Anderson managed the Hootenanny Singers. Later in 1972 he began managing Anni-Frid Lyngstad, and finally in 1976 Agnetha Fältskog (until December 1975, Fältskog was still bound to Cupol/CBS Records under a contract). In the early stages of ABBA, Anderson co-wrote a large part of the songs' lyrics, among them some of the band's biggest hits, such as "Ring Ring" (1973), "Waterloo" (1974), "Honey, Honey" (1974) , "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" (1975), "Mamma Mia" (1975), "S.O.S" (1975), "Fernando" (1976), "Dancing Queen" (1976), "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (1977) and "The Name of the Game" (1977).

Anderson was one of the dominant figures behind ABBA, representing their commercial interests and global success through successful record deals. At the same time, he also managed the investment of funds and the enormous financial incomes of Polar Music. In the mid 1980s a considerable part of ABBA's fortune was, however, lost by mismanagement, bad investments, high demands for tax and the rise of credit rates. Three of the four ABBA members terminated their relationship with Anderson when it was revealed that Anderson had taken a percentage of profits at a value of 4.5 million euros over the course of many years. A complaint against Anderson was submitted to the Stockholm District Court in June 1990 by Agnetha Fältskog's company Agnetha Fältskog Produktion AB, Benny Andersson's company Mono Music AB, as well as a Dutch company holding Björn Ulvaeus' rights. Anni-Frid Lyngstad sold all her shares in the Polar Music company in 1982 as she moved abroad. The dispute was settled out of court in July 1991; the terms of the settlement remain undisclosed.

In 1989, Anderson made a substantial financial donation and founded the Polar Music Prize. The following year, shortly before the ABBA members took him to court over royalty back payments, he sold the Polar Music company with nearly all utilisation and license rights and the registered ABBA trademark for an unknown sum of money to PolyGram. Previously, Anderson licenced ABBA and the members' solo releases to various labels worldwide as a way to earn more royalties. In 1998, PolyGram was in turn sold to Seagram and merged into what is now one of the Big Four record labels, the Universal Music Group, the company that today holds the rights to the entire ABBA back catalogue.

Anderson's daughter, Marie Ledin (wife of Swedish star and ABBA concert backing vocalist Tomas Ledin) started a new, highly successful record label in the mid 1980s, Record Station (sold to German BMG in the early 90s), followed by Anderson Records, which released Anni-Frid Lyngstad's Swedish comeback album Djupa andetag in 1996 as well as Michael B. Tretow's Greatest Hits in 1999.

Stig Anderson was married to Gudrun Anderson, and also had two sons, Anders and Lasse. On September 12, 1997, at age 66, Stig Anderson died of a heart attack. [1] His funeral was broadcast live by Sveriges Television, an honour otherwise only reserved for distinguished statesmen or royalty.

Notes

  1. ^ ABBA: The Lovers Who Conquered The World - Harry Edginton ISBN 0905018 7 45

Sources

  • Carl Magnus Palm: Bright Lights - Dark Shadows, Omnibus Press UK 2001, ISBN 0.7119.8389.5
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