Barbro "Lill-Babs" Svensson

 

Barbro "Lill-Babs" Svensson

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Lill-Babs was born in Järvsö, Gävleborg County, as the first daughter of Britta and Ragnar Svensson. At the age of fifteen, she sang on the radioshow Morgonkvisten as a "young talent. " The Swedish band leader and talent scout Simon Brehm had heard the show and contacted her that very same evening and invited her to audition in his studio in Stockholm. The audition went well, and she moved to Stockholm to begin her career in show business. In 1954, she recorded her first record "Min mammas boogie" under the name "Lill-Babs", a combination of the Swedish word 'little' and the Anglicized nickname for Barbro/Barbara. Just as her fame was beginning to grow, the unmarried Lill-Babs became pregnant - a potential public scandal in Sweden of the mid-1950s. She continued to work as long as she was able to hide her pregnancy, then went home to Järvsö to give birth to a girl, Monica. After some time at home, she returned to focus on her career

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Barbro "Lill-Babs" Svensson

Born 1938-03-09 (83 years ago) in Järvsö, Hälsingland.

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Barbro "Lill-Babs" Svensson

Bio provided by Wikipedia External link to the source of this bio

Lill-Babs was born in Järvsö, Gävleborg County, as the first daughter of Britta and Ragnar Svensson. At the age of fifteen, she sang on the radioshow Morgonkvisten as a "young talent." The Swedish band leader and talent scout Simon Brehm had heard the show and contacted her that very same evening and invited her to audition in his studio in Stockholm. The audition went well, and she moved to Stockholm to begin her career in show business.

In 1954, she recorded her first record "Min mammas boogie" under the name "Lill-Babs", a combination of the Swedish word 'little' and the Anglicized nickname for Barbro/Barbara. Just as her fame was beginning to grow, the unmarried Lill-Babs became pregnant - a potential public scandal in Sweden of the mid-1950s. She continued to work as long as she was able to hide her pregnancy, then went home to Järvsö to give birth to a girl, Monica. After some time at home, she returned to focus on her career. However, Simon Brehm had by then found a new vocalist to take her place and no longer required her services. Lill-Babs received an offer to tour with Brehm's competing band leader Kettil Olsson. After the tour and a couple of concerts at jazz club Nalen in Stockholm, she received a call from Simon asking for her to come back to work for him. She accepted his offer and went on to perform many concerts at dance palace Bal Palais and other tours.

In 1958, she went on her first self-produced tour and was cast in the movie Fly mig en greve with comedian Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt. She made many recordings, such as the novelty song "Är du kär i mej ännu Klas-Göran?", "Leva Livet" and "En tuff brud i lyxförpackning", all of which became big sellers, Svensktoppen entries and schlager standards in Sweden. "Är Du Kär I Mig Ännu Klas-Göran" was composed by the then relatively unknown Stig Anderson. Anderson would go on to write several of Lill-Babs' hits in the 1960s and in the early 1970s he would gain international fame and success as the manager of ABBA.

In the 1960s, Barbro's own fan-club Splorr was created and became the largest in Sweden with 17,000 members. The number of members however became too cumbersome to handle and the growing costs forced the club to go into bankruptcy.

During this time Lill-Babs did much of her work in West Germany, where many of her records, television shows, and movies were produced. As a result of this she became a big star in Germany, considered as popular as TV-artist Caterina Valente. In 1961 she represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest with "April, april" in Cannes and she would go on to participate several times in the national preselections for the contest both in Sweden and Norway.

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