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Abba?s Agnetha speaks out: ?I?m no recluse?

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11:36 CET+01:00
Agnetha Fältskog has given her first full-length television interview since the late eighties, talking about Abba, money and her reputation as a Garbo-style recluse.

Talking to Swedish TV station TV4, Agnetha told interviewer Lasse Bengtsson that the media had created a false picture of her:

“I'm the same person that I've always been – nice, normal, down-to-earth, and easily stressed.”

She complained that a picture had been created of her by the media as a recluse on the island of Ekerö. Comparisons with Greta Garbo, another Swede with a reputation for withdrawing from society, were unfair:

“It's a picture that the media has created as a punishment for me not showing myself enough,” she said, adding that she would “rather be an original than a bad copy.”

Fältskog claimed that she feels relaxed when walking around Stockholm, and doesn't mind when fans came up to ask for autographs. She denied that she has deliberately hidden herself away from public gaze, saying that it “just isn't my thing to do interviews.” She also admitted that she has not recovered from her fear of flying, and told Bengtsson that she hasn't flown for fifteen years.

She confirmed that when she released her latest album, My Colouring Book, she made it clear to her record company that she wouldn't travel around and do television interviews.

The album was released early in 2004, and was her first collection of new material since the eighties. She told TV4 that after so many years she was “unsure whether the voice would still be there.” Despite that, the album was a success, and sold strongly around the world.

Fältskog talked with fondness of the Abba years, saying she was grateful to have been involved. The band split up after it “stopped being fun”, she claimed, adding that things became harder after she divorced Björn Ulvaeus. She said that she could have carried on with the band for a few more years “if the pace had been a bit slower”.

She downplayed the rumours, now part of pop folklore, that there was a rift between her and fellow singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad. She said, this was mostly made up by the media, although she admitted that the pair had different personalities. She said that she still had contact with the other band members, particularly Ulvaeus, with whom she has two grown-up children and a young granddaughter. She currently lives alone, but says that she has “lots of friends”.

As for the future, fans can still live in hope that there will be more albums from Agnetha. She said that she sometimes thought My Colouring Book would be her last album, but added that she often came up with ideas for new material, so new records could not be ruled out. It seems, however, that lack of money won't force her back to work. Contrary to rumours she insists that she still earns “enough money to get by on”, both from Abba and other projects.

Sources: TV4

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