The Rolling Stones frontman Sir Mick Jagger paid a visit to the Abba museum in Sweden on Monday night (30Jun14) in search of inspiration for a similar attraction dedicated to his own band. The Paint It Black singer made a special after-hours visit to ABBA The Museum in the group's hometown of Stockholm, and he quizzed bosses about the running of the project.
Former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus tells Sweden's Expressen newspaper, "I heard he was on his way. I suspect something similar will be built for the Stones in London. That's why he wanted to have a look at our place."
The ABBA museum's curator Ingmarie Halling adds, "It was an inspirational visit. He said they (the Rolling Stones) have saved lots of clothes to exhibit. He was very cute and asked a thousand questions... He was very curious and asked practical questions."
Rock 'n' roll icon Chuck Berry is to be the recipient of the 2014 Polar Music Prize. The Johnny B. Goode singer, who is revered by the world's greatest guitarists, will be honoured with the coveted award at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden this summer (Aug14).
He will also be handed more than $160,000 (£100,000) at the gala.
The top music award was established by late Abba manager and publisher Stig Anderson. Opera and theatre director Peter Sellars will also be honoured at the 2014 ceremony.
Past recipients of the Polar Music Prize have included Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Bruce Springsteen and Sir Paul McCartney, who picked up the first award in 1992.
The Book Of Mormon has officially been deemed a West End hit after winning four prizes, including Best New Musical, at the 2014 Olivier Awards in London. The Tony Award-winning stage show, from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, opened in London last year (13) and it dominated the musical categories at the annual theatre prizegiving, taking home Best Actor in a Musical for Gavin Creel, Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for Stephen Ashfield and Best Theatre Choreographer for Casey Nicholaw.
The Best Actress in a Musical title went to Zrinka Cvitesic for Once.
Meanwhile, Lucy Kirkwood's thriller Chimerica was another big winner, being named Best New Play and earning Best Director for Lyndsey Turner, as Rory Kinnear walked away with Best Actor for Othello and Lesley Manville claimed the female equivalent for Ghosts.
Ghosts was also named Best Revival and landed Jack Lowden Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Sharon D Clarke was awarded the Best Actress in a Supporting Role prize for The Amen Corner.
Guests at the Royal Opera House event on Sunday (13Apr14) were treated to performances from Broadway regular Bernadette Peters and tenor Joseph Calleia, but the highlight of the night came when ABBA stars Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus joined the cast of Mamma Mia! to sing a medley of hits in celebration of the musical's 15th anniversary in the West End.
"Punk never got into my heart. You hear the anger now in rap, for example, but it's different and I like that very much. Eminem is one of my favourites." Abba singer Anni-Frid Lyngstad is an unlikely fan of hip-hop.
Abba stars Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus will perform with the cast of hit stage musical Mamma Mia! at the Olivier Awards. The Swedish superstars shot to fame in 1974 after winning the Eurovision Song Contest with their track Waterloo, but they split eight years later and have frequently denied rumours of a reunion.
The stage musical, which has been recreated in theatres worldwide and was even adapted into a feature film, is based on the group's most famous songs, and ABBA stars Andersson and Ulvaeus will display their love of the show this weekend (12-13Apr14).
They will join the cast of the musical onstage at the theatre prizegiving ceremony in London on Sunday (13Apr14).
Abba star Anni-Frid Lyngstad has given fans hope of a musical reunion by revealing the bandmembers have discussed working together on new material. Devotees have long hoped the Swedish pop group would get back together for one final tour following their split in 1982, but the singers have always denied they plan to head back out on the road.
Speaking during a party in London this week (beg07Apr14) to celebrate 40 years since the group's career-launching triumph at the Eurovision Song Contest, Lyngstad insisted "no amount of money would change our minds" about a tour.
However, she did reveal the stars have considered hitting the studio together again.
She tells the London Evening Standard, "We all met because we wanted to talk about what we should do for our 40th (anniversary). It was a lovely meeting. It was like time had stood still and we were back to where we were. We had the same bond, we bonded instantly. But no amount of money would change our minds (about a tour). Maybe we sometimes say it would be good to do a song together again, just a recording and nothing else, but I don't know if that will happen - so don't say that we will!"
Acclaimed lyricist Sir Tim Rice fears he will never write another stage musical as the public seems to prefer shows featuring well-known pop songs to original material. The songwriter helped create hugely successful musicals including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita with his longtime collaborator Andrew Lloyd Webber.
However, his latest offering, From Here to Eternity, is set to close in March (14) after just 22 weeks in London's West End, and Rice now fears theatre-goers are more interested in seeing shows such as Mamma Mia!, which features the music of ABBA, and Queen musical We Will Rock You.
He tells Britain's The Times newspaper, "The public don't seem interested in musicals with new material. They just want old songs repackaged. I feel sorry for Stuart Brayson (the composer he worked with on From Here to Eternity). I think he's excellent."
When asked whether he will write another stage musical, Rice adds, "I very much doubt it."
The news comes shortly after it was announced that Lloyd Webber's latest musical, Stephen Ward, is to also close in March (14) after just four months on stage in London.
Abba star Bjorn Ulvaeus has ended hopes the legendary pop act will reform for a 40th anniversary celebration. The Swedish superstars shot to fame in 1974 after winning the Eurovision Song Contest with their track Waterloo, but they split in 1982 at the height of their global fame.
Singer Agnetha Faltskog raised hopes of a reunion when she stated in November (13) that the four members were "thinking about" getting back together to mark 40 years since their Eurovision triumph, but Ulvaeus has now ruled out a comeback.
He tells British magazine Event, "The (Rolling) Stones have chosen to keep on playing and that's OK. But for us to suddenly make a comeback? Why? If any one of us has opened the door a crack, I'm shutting it now!"
Queen's Greatest Hits has become the first album to sell over six million copies in the U.K. It took the 1981 release almost 33 years to reach the milestone, and guitarist Brian May is thrilled with the latest sales tally.
He says, "Great news, AMAZING news from the Official Charts Company! Queen's Greatest Hits which was released in 1981 has passed the 6 million mark in sales, which is incredible. I just want to say thanks to everyone who has supported us through the years, we hope to continue to serve you."
Statistics suggest one in 10 Brits owns a copy of the album.
The joint number two best-selling albums in Britain at press time are ABBA's Gold and the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (both 5.1 million), while Adele's 21 (4.7 million) and Oasis' What's the Story Morning Glory? (4.6 million) complete the top five.
Rock legend Bruce Springsteen has racked up his 10th number one on the U.K. albums chart with his new release, High Hopes. The Boss has now surpassed the chart-topping achievements of musicians like David Bowie, Michael Jackson and ABBA, and equalled the records held by the Rolling Stones and U2.
Only four other artists boast more number one albums - The Beatles (15), Madonna (12), Elvis Presley and Robbie Williams, who each have 11 to their names.
High Hopes' high sales knocked Ellie Goulding's Halcyon to two, while Beyonce's self-titled release took third place.
Meanwhile, hip-hop star Pharrell Williams has continued his reign over the singles countdown - his Oscar-nominated song Happy remains at number one for a third week, with Pitbull and Ke$ha's Timber and Avicii's Hey Brother staying put at two and three, respectively.