In 1974 the first Swedish group to achieve worldwide success, ABBA, rose to fame after their song Waterloo won the Eurovision song contest. The band went on to become the second best-selling music group of all time with more than 380 million albums and singles sold over the world.The ABBA stamp at the top was part of this sheet issued in 1983 – celebrating Swedish music.
Another set released in 2000, also with an ABBA stamp
And over the last 40 years Sweden, whose population of around 9 million is only slightly larger than that of New York City, has produced many other successful musicians and its music industry has thrived. This is largely due to the positive influence of ABBA inspiring young Swedes to make music and the fact that it is estimated that 89% of the population speak English. Another reason for the industry’s growth is the fact that the Swedish government subsidises talented musicians.
PostNord is profiling this achievement by issuing five stamps featuring a selection of the Swedish artists and songwriters who are currently spreading Swedish music across the world. The stamps shown below will be released in Sweden on January 15.
Max Martin (above left, real name Martin Sandberg) has been a leading songwriter for 20 years and only Paul McCartney and John Lennon have had more number one hits on the U.S. charts. Robyn (above right) achieved success in the 1990s, with two top ten songs in America, one written by Max Martin, and has been one of the most influential female artists over the last 10 years.
The disc jockey Avicii has achieved phenomenal success in recent years. His debut album, featuring various artists, reached number one on the charts in 63 countries – a feat not achieved by any other Swedish artist with a first album.
The duo First Aid Kit, comprising sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg have achieved world wide fame with their harmonious singing and country-influenced songs.
And finally singer-songwriter Seinabo Sey. Born in Stockholm of Swedish/Gambian parents, this soul singer demonstrates influences from the multicultural society that Sweden has become.