With heavy hearts, the beloved Swedish pop group ABBA grieves over the loss of one of their own.

The group sorrowfully revealed on their social media that the renowned guitarist, Lasse Wellander, had passed away at 70 years of age.

“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,” Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad and Benny Andersson wrote.

“We mourn his tragic and premature death and remember the kind words, the sense of humor, the smiling face, the musical brilliance of the man who played such an integral role in the ABBA story.”

In a tearful tribute, the pop stars remembered Wellander alongside a black and white photo of him performing with them: “He will be deeply missed and never forgotten.”

As a child, Wellander was enthralled by The Beatles’ performance on TV in 1963 and found his passion for music. Growing up in the small Swedish village of Skrekarhyttan, he quickly picked up how to play guitar.

When Björn and Benny asked if he wanted to join them as a guitar player, Wellander eagerly accepted their offer in 1974 and became part of ABBA.

“I thought it would be big, quite early on,” Wellander expressed optimism about ABBA’s prospects. “Strong songs all the way. Even the simple pop numbers were very high quality. One of the first tracks I recorded with them was ‘Know Me, Knowing You.’ I think that’s still one of the better songs throughout the years,” he said last year.

“We were a core of musicians. It wasn’t a full-time job to work with ABBA – and sometimes I couldn’t play, so Janne Schaffer was called in, and the reverse. And if Rutger [Gunnarsson] was on tour doing something else, Mike Watson would play bass. So it wasn’t a full-time job. If you were in the North of Sweden you maybe didn’t go down to Stockholm to do one just track. But I belonged to that core of musicians from ’74 on,” he stated.

With an enthusiasm for all of ABBA’s songs, Wellander commented “I liked ‘Eagle’ because I had a long guitar solo in that song … I looked forward a bit more to that number. It was amazing being out on the road. We played six days at Wembley Arena, full house.”

Last year saw the fruits of his labor with ABBA, with the launch of their album ‘Voyage’ in November 2021 and soundtracks to accompany both films: “Mamma Mia!” and its sequel “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”.

Without ABBA’s music and tours to occupy him, Wellander looked for different opportunities with other bands.

“I was working with a lot of other bands and sessions, TV jobs, nightclubs and theaters, so I just went back to work. I played with four different groups during the 80s,” he said.

Moreover, Wellander crafted and released his own music.