Sweden is known for several amazing cultural highlights, and one of those things is its music. The standout aspects of Sweden include its gorgeous green spaces, art and designs, culinary and food culture and the beautiful heritage of the people. In addition, the world appreciates the country's musical tradition, which is a blend of some traditional genres and an integration of modern pop music. But who are the best-selling Swedish music artists?
Even if you can't name a Swedish musician or band on your head, you can't claim to have never heard music from the country. Some of the world's biggest hits have their origin in Sweden. Furthermore, many Swedish songs have made it to 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 music artists
The list includes competitive and rare musical talents, including the likes of ABBA, Roxette, and Ace of Base. These Swedish musicians did not just create music but also made money while doing it. The best-selling Swedish music artists of all time include:
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The singular honour of the best-selling artist of all time in Sweden remains ABBA’s in 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 band has sold more than 375 million albums and songs globally. ABBA artists are the most famous Swedish musicians. They topped charts worldwide 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 many others.
Roxette was a pop duo of Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle that was active from 1986 to 2019. They sold approximately 75 million copies worldwide, earning themselves a slot among best-selling Swedish music artists' names. They achieved global 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
Unfortunately, Marie Fredriksson died in 2019, but the group's music continues.
3. Ace of Base
With over 50 million CD copies sold worldwide, Ace of Base has left a mark on the Sweden 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. In addition, it was the first debut album to produce three No. 1 singles on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart.
Ace of Base was a force to reckon with in the 1990s with great hit songs like:
- Lucky Love
- Beautiful Life
- Life Is a Flower
- Cruel Summer
The group is still together even though they have been 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 began posting his remixes on electronic music forums when he was only 16.
The career of Avicii was cut short when he died in 2018, aged 28. However, he is credited as one of the DJs who ushered electronic music into Top 40 radio. He was behind several top hits, including:
- Wake Me Up
- The Nights
- Hey Brother
The Swedish band known as Europe was formed in 1979 and has sold more than 23 million album copies. The group members are Joey Tempest, John Norum, Peter Olsson and Tony Reno. They are the 1982 winners of the Swedish Rock Championships.
Europe has more than eleven studio albums and gained international recognition with their third album. Two of their albums have made it to the top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 chart. 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 was formed in 1961 and gained popularity for wearing 'space suit' costumes. They came up with an authentic electronic guitar sound that revolutionized rock music. They created 43 albums and reached 18 million in record sales.
The group members included Bo Starander, Bjorn Thelin, Bo Winberg, and Ove Johansson. They were the first Swedish group to achieve significant international success. Their 1963 single, Amapola, is one of the most successful singles in Sweden.
7. The Cardigans
The rock band The Cardigans hailed from Jonkoping, Sweden and was formed by Peter Svensson, Magnus Sveningsson, Bengt Lagerberg, Lars-Olof Johansson and Nina Persson. Their debut album was Emmerdale (1994), which gave them success at home and abroad. The group has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.
They have six studio albums, the last released in 2005. In 2006, they embarked on a five-year break and reunited again in 2012 to play in several concerts. They have been doing tours now and then, but they won't be releasing any new songs.
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8. Dr Alban
Alban Uzoma Nwapa is a Nigerian-Swedish recording artist and producer. His music is unique because it incorporates Eurodance, hip-hop, reggae and dancehall elements. He has his record label, Dr Records, and he has sold over 16 million records globally.
Alban came to the spotlight with his 1992 hit, It’s My Life performed well in many European countries. He moved from Nigeria to Sweden when he was 23 to study dentistry. He became a DJ to finance his studies but became an artist.
The Swedish group Alcazar is known globally for its nu-disco music. It is a dance music genre that incorporates elements of the 1970s US disco. The group debuted in 1999 and sold more than 12 million records between 2001 and 2004.
Their most famous song is Crying at the Discoteque, which topped charts in the USA, 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 band known for a type of music known as dansband and danced to in pairs. The group is among the most successful and the best-selling dansband in Scandinavia. It is often regarded as the greatest dansband of all time.
The group was formed in 1958 and dissolved in 2004. It sold more than 11 million records worldwide. The members of the group were Jorgen Arnemar, Borje Gunnarson, Per-Anders Carlsson, Tord Sjoman, Tony Eriksson, Christer Linde and Stefan Borsch.
Frequently asked questions
- Who are the biggest band in Sweden? ABBA is the biggest band in Sweden, with more than 375 million album and song sales worldwide.
- Who is the #1 best-selling music artist? The best-selling music artist in Sweden is the band ABBA.
- Who is the most famous Swedish singer? Agnetha Faltskog is the greatest and most famous Swedish signer.
- What music is Sweden known for? Sweden is known for waltz, schottische, polka, mazurka and polska music.
- What does ABBA stand for? It stands for the initials of the names Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny, and Anni-Frid.
- Why did ABBA separate? The band separated, and the members went their separate ways 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 plays dansbandmusik.
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Swedish music cannot be talked about without mentioning the band ABBA, which was based in Stockholm but caused reverberations globally. The honour of the best-selling Swedish music artist remains theirs even after the entrance of new industry icons. They continue topping charts as recent as 2021, five decades since their debut.
Yen.com.gh shared an interesting article about the biggest artist in Ghana. The Ghanaian music industry has been growing over the years. The west African country enjoys a diverse taste musically, as the top genres played are reggae, highlife, hiplife, Afro-pop, Azonto, Kpanlogo, Afrobeat, Raglife and dancehall.
Ghanaian musicians show their versatility by trying different genres and collaborating with artists outside Ghana. Their distinct styles are well fused with other African artists and international stars.
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