Benny Bror Göran Andersson (born in Stockholm on December 16, 1946) is a Swedish musician, composer and a member of the Swedish musical group, ABBA.
Benny's musical background came from his father and grandfather; both enjoyed playing the accordion. At the age of six Benny got an accordion of his own. Father Gösta and grandfather Efraim taught him Swedish folk music. When he was ten he had one or two piano lessons but found it rather boring. He left school at the age of fifteen and began to perform at youth clubs. This is when he met his first girlfriend Christina Grönvall. They never got married but did have two children: Peter in 1963 and Helen in 1965.
In 1964 Benny became the keyboard player of the rock 'n roll group Hep Stars. In 1965 Benny started to write material for the band, such as the number one hit Sunny Girl.
In the summer of 1969 Benny met Anni-Frid Lyngstad at the same time as Björn Ulvaeus met Agnetha Fältskog. Benny was engaged to Anni-Frid for about 9 years. They married in 1978 but got divorced in 1981. The personal relationships and Benny and Björn's composition has led quite naturally to the very close co-operation which the four friends have had during the previous two years.
One week after the divorce from Frida in November 1981 Benny got married to Swedish TV presenter Mona Nörklit. Their son, Ludvig, was born in January 1982.
After being a member of Hep Stars and later ABBA he has created the musicals Chess, Kristina från Duvemåla (based on the Immigrant novels by Swedish writer Vilhelm Moberg) (currently in workshops for an English production on Broadway), and Mamma Mia! (based on existing ABBA songs), all of these together with Björn Ulvaeus.
Andersson believes folk music to be an essential heritage of any nation which must be kept alive and continuously developed, and to that end he performs folk music on the accordion together with Orsa Spelmän. Since the late nineties he mostly plays with his band Benny Anderssons orkester (Benny Andersson's orchestra/band) with Helen Sjöholm from Kristina from Duvemåla on vocals - with lyrics written by his song-writing partner and best-friend of 40 years, Bjorn Ulvaeus.
Together with Ulvaeus, Andersson was nominated for Drama Desk Award in a category Outstanding Music (for musical Chess) and for Tony Award in a category Best Orchestrations (for musical Mamma Mia).Original Cast recordings of both musicals were nominated for Grammy Award.
During his post-ABBA career Andersson won five Swedish Grammis Awards, and together with Ulvaeus received The Special International Ivor Novello Award from The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters , The Music Export Prize from the Swedish Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Lifetime Achievement Award from the Swedish Music Publishers Association (SMFF). In 2002, Andersson has been given an honorary professorship by the Swedish Government for his "ability to create high-class music reaching people around the world".
With Benny Anderssons Orkester
With Orsa Spelmän