Blonde songstress of Abba to release new album after years of silence
Fear of flying drove singer Agnetha Fältskog into hiding
The sale of untold millions of albums, in addition to being one of Sweden's top exports did little to assuage the fears and insecurities of the lovely Agnetha Fältskog, the blonde songstress in the super group quartet Abba. An intense fear of flying, coupled with a disastrous trip across the United States, drove Fältskog into seclusion. She's since opened up and coming clean with the press pending the release of her solo album this month.
Agnetha Fältskog says a harrowing experience with flying through turbulent weather left her traumatized.
Fältskog says a harrowing experience with flying through turbulent weather left her traumatized. While the group toured the United States in 1979, a private jet they took from New York to Boston encountered a tornado and had to make an emergency landing.
"It stopped me from flying," she told journalists. "I try not think of it, as it was terrifying. The pilot failed to land at the first attempt but then we landed at the second try.
"I already had a fear, but this event was the turning point," she added.
The 63-year-old Fältskog explained that her band mates, Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Anni-Frid Lyngstad - were often photographed without her because she refused to travel. "There have been so many years I did not fly and Björn and Benny and Frida traveled more," she said. "There were photos of the three without me and I was called 'the recluse.'
"I had to have therapy for my fear, it's getting better but it takes a long time. I can fly now for two or three hours but no more."
Fältskog traveled by road eight years afterwards, taking a private coach to tour. Ironically, this wouldn't keep her out of harm's way . her private bus overturned on a highway in Sweden in 1983 and she was thrown out of the window, but survived.
"I must have a guardian angel looking after me as I've had such bad luck but survived," she said. "But it's good to face your fears."
Fältskog says she hopes to slowly step back into the spotlight.
"I used to suffer from stage fright, which at times was an ordeal," she said. "I won't perform live again. I'm going to do some TV shows and videos but nothing else ... I don't like to travel too much or do concerts. I'm more of a studio and home girl."
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