Members of Abba have paid tribute to their long-standing guitarist Lasse Wellander after he died at the age of 70.
In a statement, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad said: “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.
“We mourn his tragic and premature death and remember the kind words, the sense of humour, the smiling face, the musical brilliance of the man who played such an integral role in the Abba story. He will be deeply missed and never forgotten.”
His family said Wellander died “surrounded by his loved ones” on Friday after his cancer had spread.
Translated from Swedish, they added: “You were an amazing musician and humble as few, but above all you were a wonderful husband, father, brother, uncle and grandfather.
“Kind, safe, caring and loving… and so much more, that cannot be described in words.”
“A hub in our lives, and it’s unbelievable that we now have to live on without you.”
He joined the group in 1975, playing guitar on a number of Abba hits including Voulez Vous, Take A Chance On Me and Knowing Me, Knowing You.
Wellander also performed on Abba’s comeback record Voyage, in 2021, as well as helping to develop the soundtrack to the film version of musical Mamma Mia!.
The musician also went on to release a number of solo albums during his career, including his most recent, Simple Ticket, in 2006.
He has also received a number of awards, including the Albin Hagstrom Memorial Award from the Royal Swedish Academy Of Music in 2005 and Swedish Musicians’ Union’s special prize in 2018.