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ABBA were the first group from a non-English-speaking country to achieve consistent success in the charts of English-speaking countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.

Their first attempt was "Isn't It Easy to Say", a song later recorded by the Hep Stars.

Stig Anderson was the manager of the Hootenanny Singers and founder of the Polar Music label.

He saw potential in the collaboration, and encouraged them to write more.

The two also began playing occasionally with the other's bands on stage and on record, although it was not until 1969 that the pair wrote and produced some of their first real hits together: "Ljuva sextital" ("Sweet Sixties"), recorded by Brita Borg, and the Hep Stars' 1969 hit "Speleman" ("Fiddler").

Ulvaeus still occasionally recorded and performed with the Hootenanny Singers until the middle of 1974, and Andersson took part in producing their records.

Agnetha Fältskog (born 5 April 1950 in Jönköping, Sweden) sang with a local dance band headed by Bernt Enghardt who sent a demo recording of the band to Karl Gerhard Lundkvist.

During filming of a Swedish TV special in May 1969, Fältskog met Ulvaeus, and they married on 6 July 1971.

Fältskog and Ulvaeus eventually were involved in each other's recording sessions, and soon even Andersson and Lyngstad added backing vocals to her third studio album, Som jag är (As I Am) (1970).

Andersson wrote and submitted the song "Hej, Clown" for Melodifestivalen 1969, the national festival to select the Swedish entry to the Eurovision Song Contest.

The song tied for first place, but re-voting relegated Andersson's song to second place.

ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 at The Dome in Brighton, UK, giving Sweden its first triumph in the contest, and are the most successful group to have ever taken part in the competition.