Abba pay tribute to guitarist Lasse Wellander’s ‘musical brilliance’ in emotional post
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Abba have paid tribute to Lasse Wellander, the group’s long-serving guitarist after he passed away on Friday April 7 from cancer. The musician’s family announced the news and said he had died “surrounded by his loved ones.”
Following the tragic news, Abba posted a statement on their Instagram page, which 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.”
Lasse first worked with the group on their self-titled 1975 album and became their main guitarist on albums which followed. His performance can be heard on hits such as Knowing Me, Knowing You, Thank You for the Music and The Winner Takes It All.
He also performed live with the group from 1975 to 1980, worked with Björn and Benny on their 1984 album Chess and is featured on the soundtracks for the 2008 Mamma Mia film and its 2018 sequel. Wellander was also credited as a guitarist or producer on more than 6,300 songs by numerous artists and released several solo albums.
In 2021, Lasse returned to play guitar for Abba’s comeback record, the Grammy-nominated Voyage, which was released in 2021. His family said in a statement on Facebook: "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."