12 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Swedish Singers Of All Time

Avatar photo
Written by Laura Macmillan
Last updated

If there’s one thing the Swedes are well-known for, it’s their place in the pop music scene. Time and time again, Sweden is acknowledged for how many world-famous musicians have come from there.

Swedes are said to be incredibly kind, especially towards visitors. Mix that with culture and talent, it’s no wonder the country has produced such large names in the music industry.

In this post, we’ve listed 12 of the greatest and most famous Swedish singers of all time. Read on to learn about their lives and careers.

1. Agnetha Fältskog

Better known as the first A in ABBA, Agnetha Fältskog, is from Jönköping, Sweden.

Fältskog has seen a very successful music career. She started as a solo act, which gained her recognition in Sweden, but soon after, ABBA became an international hit.

When ABBA broke up, she went on to continue her solo career. She hit #1 on the Swedish charts with her first album, Wrap Your Arms Around Me, after ABBA, and her singles saw great success in Europe.

After nearly two decades of hiatus, Fältskog returned to making music in 2004. ABBA reunited in 2021, though they have said they aren’t making music anymore after their performances for the new album, Voyage, are done.

Some notable hits from Fältskog are “Waterloo,” “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight),” and “Dancing Queen.”

2. Nina Perrson

Like Agnetha Fältskog from ABBA, Nina Persson is from Jönköping, Sweden. She is the singer of the rock band the Cardigans.

Her original dream was to be an artist, but she joined the Cardigans and became a musical artist.

Their song “Lovefool” resulted in their rise to fame in the late ‘90s. Their first hiatus took place from 1998 to 2002. Then in 2006, the band entered a second hiatus, which ended in 2012.

Before the second hiatus, their album Super Extra Gravity skyrocketed to #1 on the Swedish charts. Persson briefly pursued acting in 2006, and she also released a solo album in 2014.

Though she has stated the Cardigans don’t intend to continue making music, the members are still committed to performing.

3. Jenny Berggren

Jenny Petrén, professionally known as Jenny Berggren, was the lead singer of the Swedish band Ace Of Base.

Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, Berggren was raised as a musician, taking music and violin lessons from a young age.

Berggren and her siblings, along with Ulf Ekberg, created Ace of Base. Their first album peaked at #1 on several charts and was certified two-times Platinum. Their next album, The Sign, was certified 9x Platinum in the United States. The title track of the album is one of their most well-known songs.

Fellow Swede singer-songwriter Robyn has cited Ace of Base as an inspiration. American pop artists such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry have also cited the band as an influence on their music.

4. Tove Lo

From Helsingborg, Sweden, Ebba Tove Elsa Nilsson—known better as Tove Lo—started her career in 2006 during the formation of the band Tremblebee. After her time with the rock group, she moved on to pop music.

In 2011, Nilsson got a job with Warner/Chappell Music, which led her to work with fellow Swede Max Martin. Soon after, she began releasing her music on the side.

Her single “Habits (Stay High)” peaked at #3, but topped the Pop Chart later. Nilsson continues making music and even made her acting debut in 2021. Critics praise her for her songwriting ability.

5. Tove Styrke

Singer-songwriter Tove Anna Linnéa Östman Styrke, shortened to Tove Styrke, is from Umeå, Sweden. Her father is also a musician, topping the charts with his band, Max Fenders.

Styrke first rose to fame when she competed on Swedish Idol of which she won 3rd place. She often credits Swedish pop group ABBA as an inspiration for her work, including a cover of their song “Super Trouper” in her setlist on tours, citing it as her favorite ABBA song.

Her self-titled album ranked #2 on the Swedish charts and eventually peaked at #10. Styrke went on to win a Best Pop GAFFA award in 2015 for her album Kiddo.

6. Zara Larsson

At just the young age of 10, Zara Larsson, born in Stockholm, Sweden, started her musical career. 

Larsson won the competitive singing show Talang in 2008, jump-starting her career. It wasn’t until 2012, however, that she got signed to a record.

Songs from her first EP topped the Swedish charts, and “Uncover” was certified 6x Platinum in Sweden. Her album So Good had several singles that became a worldwide success.

The first single of the So Good, “Lush Life,” reached the top 10 on several charts in Europe. She continued her success with her next single, “Never Forget You,” which was certified 4x Platinum in Sweden.

Larsson continues to make music and has released her third studio album Poster Girl in 2021.

7. Joey Tempest

Our next singer is best known for being the lead singer of rock band Europe. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Joey Tempest started learning music at a young age.

He formed Europe in 1979 and soon won a record deal from a singing competition. Their biggest song is “The Final Countdown,” which went on to top over a dozen charts while selling millions of records.

Europe broke up in 1992, leading Tempest to work on his solo career, releasing his first solo album that went Platinum in Sweden.

Europe reunited in the early 2000s and has since dropped new music every few years, though there hasn’t been a new album since 2017.

8. Marie Fredriksson

Known as one of the singers of pop rock group Roxette, Gun-Marie Fredriksson was born in Djursholm, Sweden. She started learning music at a young age.

She first started her career as a solo artist, releasing a debut album in 1984. As it climbed the Swedish charts to top 20, Fredriksson began gaining popularity. After collaborating with Per Gessle for the single “Neverending Love,” they became the renown duo Roxette.

Roxette gained international success in 1989 with its song “The Look.” Their song “It Must Have Been Love” also peaked at #1 in 1990.

The duo went on a brief hiatus when Fredriksson was diagnosed with brain tumor and underwent treatment in 2002.

Roxette released their last album in 2016, and Fredriksson released her last song in 2018 before her death, but there have been songs released posthumously.

9. Robyn

Robin Miriam Carlsson, simply known as Robyn was born in Stockholm, Sweden. She started a career in acting but signed with a record company in 1993.

She broke into the United States music scene with her 1990s singles “Show Me Love” and “Do You Know (What It Takes).” Both hit the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Other popular charting songs from are “Dancing On My Own,” “Indestructible,” and “Hang with Me.”

Robyn continued to release chart-topping albums throughout her career and was nominated for—and won!—many awards. As one of the artists who helped shape modern pop music, she is an inspiration to many musicians and fans.

10. José González

Penultimate on our list, we have Gothenburg-born José González, an indie-folk singer and songwriter.

González was partway through a PhD in biochemistry when he decided to pursue a career in music full time. By that time, he had already co-started Junip, a Swedish folk-rock band, and released his debut album, Veneer.

The song “Heartbeats” from Veneer ranked in many European charts. “Crosses” from the same album also peaked on #4.

Since then, González has gone on to win multiple awards recognizing both his singing and songwriting prowess.

He is also a long-standing member of Giving What We Can, a charity organization where members donate at least 10 percent of their monthly income to charity.

11. Max Martin

Even though now retired, Max Martin from Stockholm, Sweden, deserves to be on this list for his contributions to the music industry.

His singing career began in 1985 with a band called It’s Alive. They released two albums before Martin separated from the group. He then shifted from singing to working with other artists as a producer and songwriter.

He went on to write with an insane list of singers, including Celine Dion, the Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne, and Taylor Swift, among many more.

He wrote some of the biggest pop hits of the ’90s and 2000s, penning Britney’s “Baby One More Time,” Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life,” Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone,” and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream”—and this is just a few!

As you’d expect, Martin has won the Writer of the Year Award an astonishing 11 times and continues to write hit after hit.

12. Loreen

Lorine Zineb Nora Talhaoui, simply known as Loreen, gained international recognition after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 with her mesmerizing song “Euphoria.” The song became an instant hit and went on to top charts across Europe.

In addition to her Eurovision success, Loreen has released several well-received albums and singles. Her debut album, Heal, included the winning song as well as hits like “My Heart Is Refusing Me” and “Crying Out Your Name.”

Amazingly, Loreen won the Eurovision Song Contest again, when she entered the competition in 2023. Her song “Tatoo” is also a multi-chart-topping hit.

Loreen’s double win not only solidifies her place in Eurovision history but also ensures that her influence and impact on the music industry will endure for years to come.

Summing Up Our List Of Famous Singers From Sweden

As you can surmise in the list above, Sweden has given us many pop legends and genius rock artists, and many more are still in the making.

Every recent generation has witnessed the talent of Swedish musicians and how the different artists inspire each other.

Make sure to give these artists a listen if you haven’t—perhaps you might even discover a new favorite!

Photo of author

Laura has over 12 years experience teaching both classical and jazz saxophone and clarinet. She now resides in California where she works as a session and live performer.