The stars of ABBA have paid a solemn tribute to their late guitarist and friend Lasse Wellander.
Wellander, who played on the band’s most iconic hits, died aged 70 this week following a short battle with cancer.
ABBA’s band members Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad shared an emotional statement following the news.
“Lasse was a dear friend, a fun guy and a superb guitarist,” the band wrote on their official Instagram page.
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“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.”
The statement was signed by Agnetha, Björn, Frida and Benny.
It was posted on Instagram alongside a black-and-white photo of Wellander playing the guitar alongside the band.
Wellander, who provided guitar music on 24 of ABBA’s tracks, died on Good Friday after recently being diagnosed with cancer.
READ MORE: Iconic ABBA guitarist Lasse Wellander dead at 70
His family wrote in an emotional statement on Facebook: “It is with indescribable sadness that we have to announce that our beloved Lasse has fallen asleep.
“Lasse recently fell ill with what turned out to be cancer that had spread, and early on Good Friday he passed away surrounded by his loved ones. We love and miss you so much.”
Like the members of ABBA, Wellander was also Swedish-born and joined the band’s members in 1974 during their early recording days.
According to ABBA’s official website, Wellander soon became the main guitarist on the band’s albums, and even toured with them in 1975, 1977, 1979 and 1980. He had also continued working with Björn and Benny in the post-ABBA period.
As well as being an immensely popular studio musician in Sweden, Wellander also had a solo career of his own.
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He released seven solo albums, two of which entered the Top 40 album charts in the mid-1980s.
Similarly, Wellander also assisted the Broadway and film production of Mamma Mia! the smash-hit musical.
Most recently, Wellander had a full circle moment when he lent a hand with ABBA’s most recent record, Voyager.
The legendary foursome shocked fans around the world when they reunited to release a number of new songs which Wellander lent his guitar prowess to.
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