Abba’s long standing guitarist, Lasse Wellander, has died aged 70 after being diagnosed with cancer.
According to The Guardian, the band paid tribute to the “musical brilliance” of the musician, who played on its biggest albums and toured with them between 1975 and 1980.
His family says he died early on Friday “surrounded by his loved ones”.
The outlet adds that the Abba band members, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, said in a statement: “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.”
Raised in the small village of Skrikarhyttan, Sweden, Wellander had his first recording session with Abba in October 1974 and continued to play on their respective solo albums after their split.
In a post on Wellander’s official Facebook page, his family said the musician had died after his cancer spread.
Translated from Swedish, they paid tribute, saying: “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.”