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Abba enter Swedish Music Hall of Fame

Legendary Swedish pop band Abba on Thursday were among the 12 first artists to join the Swedish Music Hall of Fame, which celebrates the country’s rich pop tradition.

“I think it’s a nice thing to do, to create a Swedish Music Hall of Fame,” 67-year-old former ABBA member Benny Andersson said.

“Through the years, there were so many very influential good songwriters and artists and I think it’s a good thing to make a collection of all of them.”

As expected, the most famous Swedish band of all times eclipsed all other artists on the list, such as Roxette or metal band Entombed.

“We would probably be the only band that you know about. Maybe Roxette… otherwise, it’s sort of a Swedish thing,” Andersson said, showing pride in keeping his celebrity status 32 years after the group broke up.

“After all this time, I’m very grateful, proud and surprised,” he said.

Pop pioneers Abba sold 375 million records worldwide since its first recording in 1972.

The first 12 artists, including jazz singer Monica Zetterlund (1937-2005) and Dutch-born singer-songwriter Cornelis Vreeswijk (1937-1987), were chosen by a jury of four music experts.

The Swedish Music Hall of Fame will open to the public on March 20 in the same building as the Abba museum, which has received more than 275,000 visitors since it opened in May 2013.

“Induction is not just recognition for the performers, but is also intended to build bridges between generations,” the Swedish Hall of Fame said in a statement.