ABBA surprised by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

ABBA is headed for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

By , McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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    ABBA co-founder Benny Andersson said he was surprised that his group will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In this photo Andersson appears during a photocall for 'Mamma Mia' as a part of the 34th American Film Festival in Deauville, Normandy, France, on September 06, 2008.
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No one was more surprised about ABBA being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame than the band's co-founder Benny Andersson.

''We're a pop band from the North Pole," Andersson says, calling from his studio in Stockholm. "There's no such thing as a (continental European) band in the Rock Hall, so it is flattering. It feels good, but it's very unexpected."

After all, ABBA — Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog — is best known for pop hits such as "Dancing Queen" and "Knowing Me, Knowing You" and disco anthems such as "Lay All Your Love on Me," as well as the Broadway smash "Mamma Mia!" and the movie of the same name.

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''Every year, there's someone that attracts attention from people who aren't happy about the choice," says Terry Stewart, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's president and chief executive.

"One of the problems this year is you have the extremes of ABBA getting inducted and KISS doesn't. I've answered 5,000 to 10,000 e-mails and letters. This issue is a high point this year."

Of course, what could be more rock 'n' roll than a little bit of controversy?

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