Sweden is known for several amazing cultural highlights, and one of those things is its music. The most notable aspects of Sweden include its beautiful green spaces, its art and designs, its culinary and food culture, and the magnificent heritage of its people. Moreover, the world appreciates the musical tradition of the country, which is a mixture of some traditional genres and an integration of modern pop music. But who are Sweden’s best-selling musical artists?
Even if you can’t name a Swedish musician or band off your head, you can’t pretend you’ve never heard music from the country. Some of the world’s biggest hits originated in Sweden. Additionally, many Swedish songs have reached the UK and US top charts. The country has produced some of the biggest names in the music industry, like Avicii, ABBA, Roxette and Lykke Li.
Top 10 Best Selling Swedish Artists
The roster includes competitive and rare musical talent, including ABBA, Roxette, and Ace of Base. These Swedish musicians didn’t just create music, they also made money doing it. Sweden’s best-selling musical artists of all time include:
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The singular honor of Sweden’s best-selling artist of all time will remain with ABBA for the foreseeable future. This is partly because their music is a combined effort of individual musical geniuses. ABBA is a Stockholm-based band whose members include Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. ABBA are the initials of their first names.
The group has sold over 375 million albums and songs worldwide. ABBA artists are the most famous Swedish musicians. They topped the world charts from 1974 to 1983 and in 2021 as well. In addition, they have won numerous awards, such as the American Guild of Variety Artists Award, Bravo Otto Awards, and Carl-Alan Awards, among others.
Roxette were a pop duo of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle who were active from 1986 to 2019. They sold around 75 million copies worldwide, earning themselves a place among the top-selling Swedish musical artist names . They achieved worldwide stardom with the breakthrough of their second album in the late 1980s.
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The duo had nineteen UK Top 40 hits and several US Hot 100 hits. Some of their best performing singles include:
- it must have been Love
- The look
- Listen to your heart
Sadly, Marie Fredriksson passed away in 2019, but the band’s music continues.
3. Basic Ace
With over 50 million CD copies sold worldwide, Ace of Base has left a mark on the Swedish pop music scene. Its original members were Jonas, Linn, Jenny and Ulf. Their 1992 debut album gave them instant success as it was certified nine times platinum in the United States. Additionally, it was the first debut album to yield three No. 1 singles on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart.
Ace of Base was a force to be reckoned with in the 1990s with big hit songs like:
- lucky love
- Beautiful life
- life is a flower
- cruel summer
The group is still together despite being largely inactive since 2012.
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Avicii quickly rose to the top to become a global pop music icon. He is famous as a DJ who helped other musicians by taking their songs to the next level. He started posting his remixes on electronic music forums when he was just 16 years old.
Avicii’s career was cut short when he died in 2018, aged 28. However, he is considered one of the DJs who introduced electronic music to the Top 40 radio stations. He was behind several major hits, including:
- Wake me up
- The nights
- hey brother
The Swedish band known as Europe was formed in 1979 and has sold over 23 million album copies. The band members are Joey Tempest, John Norum, Peter Olsson and Tony Reno. They are the 1982 winners of the Swedish Rock Championships.
Europe has over eleven studio albums and gained international recognition with their third album. Two of their albums reached the top 20 of the Billboard 200 albums. The group went on hiatus in 1992 and reunited in 2003.
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6. The Spotnicks
The Spotnicks are a classic rock band that formed in 1961 and gained popularity for wearing “spacesuit” costumes. They created an authentic electronic guitar sound that revolutionized rock music. They created 43 albums and reached 18 million record sales.
Band members included Bo Starander, Bjorn Thelin, Bo Winberg and Ove Johansson. They were the first Swedish band to achieve significant international success. Their 1963 single, Amapolais one of Sweden’s most popular singles.
Rock band The Cardigans hail from Jonkoping, Sweden and were formed by Peter Svensson, Magnus Sveningsson, Bengt Lagerberg, Lars-Olof Johansson and Nina Persson. Their debut album was Emmerdale (1994), which brought them success at home and abroad. The group has sold over 15 million albums worldwide.
They have six studio albums, the last released in 2005. In 2006 they embarked on a five-year hiatus and reunited again in 2012 to play several gigs. They toured from time to time, but they won’t release new songs.
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8. Dr. Alban
Alban Uzoma Nwapa is a Nigerian-Swedish artist and producer. His music is unique as it incorporates elements of Eurodance, hip-hop, reggae and dancehall. He has his label, Dr Records, and he has sold over 16 million records worldwide.
Alban came into the limelight with his 1992 hit, It’s my life performed well in many European countries. He moved from Nigeria to Sweden at the age of 23 to study dentistry. He becomes a DJ to finance his studies but becomes an artist.
The Swedish band Alcazar are world famous for their nu-disco music. It is a genre of dance music that incorporates elements of 1970s American disco. The group debuted in 1999 and sold over 12 million records between 2001 and 2004.
Their most famous song is Crying at the Discotheque, which topped the charts in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Japan and other European countries. The group disbanded in 2011, but they reunited in 2014. Its members are Andreas Lundstedt, Tess Merkel and Annika Kjaergaard.
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Vikingarna is a Swedish group known for a type of music known as dansband and danced in pairs. The band is one of Scandinavia’s most popular and best-selling dansbands. It is often considered the greatest dansband of all time.
The group was formed in 1958 and disbanded in 2004. It has sold over 11 million records worldwide. The band members were Jorgen Arnemar, Borje Gunnarson, Per-Anders Carlsson, Tord Sjoman, Tony Eriksson, Christer Linde and Stefan Borsch.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the biggest band in Sweden? ABBA is Sweden’s biggest band, with over 375 million albums and songs sold worldwide.
- Who is the best-selling musical artist? Sweden’s best-selling musical artist is the band ABBA.
- Who is the most famous Swedish singer? Agnetha Faltskog is Sweden’s greatest and best-known singer.
- What music is Sweden known for? Sweden is known for the waltz, schottische, polka, mazurka and polska.
- What does ABBA mean? It represents the initials of the names Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid.
- Why did ABBA break up? The group broke up and the members broke up because they felt the energy was running out in the studio.
- What is Dansband? It is a Swedish term that refers to a band that performs in bandmusik.
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You can’t talk about Swedish music without mentioning the band ABBA, which was based in Stockholm but echoed around the world. The honor of Sweden’s best-selling musical artist remains theirs even after new industry icons have entered. They continue to top the charts as recently as 2021, five decades since their debut.
Yen.com.gh has shared an interesting article about Ghana’s biggest entertainer. The Ghanaian music industry has grown over the years. The West African country enjoys a diverse musical taste as the main genres played are Reggae, Highlife, Hiplife, Afro-Pop, Azonto, Kpanlogo, Afrobeat, raglife and dancehall.
Ghanaian musicians show their versatility by trying out different genres and collaborating with artists outside of Ghana. Their distinct styles are fused well with other African artists and international stars.