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ABBA announce they are retiring and new album Voyage is their LAST

ABBA have announced they will retire following the release of their first album in 40 years and the completion of their recently announced stage show. 

The Swedish pop pioneers originally split up in 1982, but reformed earlier this year to record ninth studio album Voyage and unveil plans for an immersive digital stage show, to be held in London’s Stratford next May. 

However bandmembers Benny Andersson, 74, and Bjorn Ulvaeus, 76, insist the reunion is a one-off, with the band unlikely to record more music following the release of Voyage on November 22.

End of an era: ABBA have announced they will retire following the release of their first album in 40 years and the completion of their recently announced stage show

Speaking to The Guardian, Benny said: ‘This is it… It’s got to be, you know.’ 

Touching on the band’s original break-up, which followed almost a decade of chart domination, he added: ‘I didn’t actually say that, “This is it” in 1982. 

‘I never said myself that ABBA was never going to happen again. But I can tell you now: this is it.’

The group, which also includes Agnetha Fältskog, 71, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 75, became household names after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with hit single Waterloo. 

Legends: The Swedish pop pioneers originally split up in 1982, but reformed earlier this year to record ninth studio album Voyage and unveil plans for an immersive digital stage show

Legends: The Swedish pop pioneers originally split up in 1982, but reformed earlier this year to record ninth studio album Voyage and unveil plans for an immersive digital stage show

They went on to release tracks including Mama Mia!, Dancing Queen, Take a Chance On Me and Thank You For The Music before walking away from the music industry. 

The band recently announced further tickets will be made available for their upcoming avatar tour.

The additional tickets for ABBA Voyage, which will take bookings to December 4 2022, will be on sale from 10am on November 3, two days before the album is released on November 5.

Tickets will be made from abbavoyage.com, with a pre-sale for Amazon UK customers that pre-order a physical format of the new ABBA album available from 10am Monday November 1 and a priority booking window for ABBA Voyage database subscribers from 10am November 2.

Bowing out: Bandmembers Benny Andersson, 74, and Bjorn Ulvaeus, 76, insist the reunion is a one-off, with the band unlikely to record more music following the release of Voyage on November 22

Bowing out: Bandmembers Benny Andersson, 74, and Bjorn Ulvaeus, 76, insist the reunion is a one-off, with the band unlikely to record more music following the release of Voyage on November 22 

The masterpiece will take place in the purpose-built ABBA Arena at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London from 27th May 2022. 

The digital versions of the four-piece have been created following weeks and months of motion-capture and performance techniques.

An 850-strong team from Industrial Light & Magic, the company founded by Star Wars creator George Lucas, led the company’s first foray into music.

The foursome previously said they would never reform despite their huge worldwide popularity, and reaching more than 400 million album sales over 50 years.

Interview: Speaking to The Guardian, Benny said: 'This is it... It¿s got to be, you know'

Interview: Speaking to The Guardian, Benny said: ‘This is it… It’s got to be, you know’

In an interview with Australia’s A Current Affair on Friday, Björn teased: ‘That’s the vision we have, an experience that nobody has ever had in music.’

‘You know to sit in the audience on opening night and see this thing, see ourselves… it’s going to be weird and wonderful,’ he added.

The singer promises it will be as close to the real thing as possible.

‘It will be us, in the way that we really have infused ourselves in these avatars with movement, with facials expressions, with the voices, all of that stuff makes it, it’s us,’ he told the programme. 

Stars: The foursome previously said they would never reform despite their huge worldwide popularity, and reaching more than 400 million album sales over 50 years (pictured circa 1975)

Stars: The foursome previously said they would never reform despite their huge worldwide popularity, and reaching more than 400 million album sales over 50 years (pictured circa 1975)

The Sun reported: ‘The state-of-the-art concert – set to run until 2025 – will feature Abba performing as holograms of themselves in their heyday.

‘It will be ­situated in a purpose-built 3,000-capacity venue in the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, where it will open next spring and an entire album of new music is being readied.’

It added: ‘The 6,710-square-metre theatre will host eight shows a week and will allow for a 360-degree immersive experience, giving fans the chance to get up close and personal with the recreations of the superstars, which will be joined on stage by real performers.’

A bar, food stalls and a shop are also said to be included on site, with The Sun having seen planning documents that show the building’s design allows for it to be broken down for transportation.

History: The group became household names after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with hit single Waterloo (pictured as holograms)

History: The group became household names after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest with hit single Waterloo (pictured as holograms)

‘Preliminary plans’ aim for a later move to Las Vegas or Stockholm.

The Waterloo group went their separate ways at the height of their career, and during their final years Bjorn divorced bandmate Agnetha whilst Benny and Frida split up, too.

They performed together for the first time in decades in 2016 at a private event, which marked the 50th anniversary of the first meeting between songwriters Bjorn and Benny.

Split: The Waterloo group went their separate ways at the height of their career, and during their final years Bjorn divorced bandmate Agnetha whilst Benny and Frida split up, too (pictured in 1973)

Split: The Waterloo group went their separate ways at the height of their career, and during their final years Bjorn divorced bandmate Agnetha whilst Benny and Frida split up, too (pictured in 1973)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk