Ola Brunkert found dead after tragic accident (Updated)

Ola Brunkert

Ola Brunkert

No suspicious circumstances have been suggested by investigators. Björn and Benny have led those paying tribute to Ola Brunkert, who is a very familiar name and face to ABBA fans. Ola’s death (at age 62) is very sad news indeed and our condolences go to Ola’s family and friends. 

There are many English-speaking press sites running the story worldwide, and the Swedish media is naturally covering the story heavily. You can read some of the articles below with quotes from Benny, Björn, Janne Schaffer and Mats Ronnander…

Daily Telegraph:

The drummer for the Swedish pop group Abba has been found dead with his throat cut after he accidentally walked through a glass door.

Ola Brunkert, 61, crashed head first through the door in his kitchen at his home on Majorca, wounding his neck on a shard of glass.

He managed to wrap a towel around his neck and left the house to seek help, but collapsed in the garden and bled to death.

His body was discovered in the garden of his villa in Arta on the island’s northeastern coast by a neighbour on Sunday evening.

Police said an autopsy confirmed that Mr Brunkert’s death had been an accident. Mr Brunkert lived alone and there was no sign of a break in, police said.

Members of the band yesterday paid tribute to their onetime drummer.

Bjorn Ulvaeus, one of the four lead singers who leapt to fame after performing their song Waterloo in the 1974 Eurovision song contest, said that Mr Brunkert had been "one of the best".

"I remember him as a good friend when we worked together in the mid-1970s. He was a very creative musician who contributed a lot when we toured together and worked in the studio," he said.

Benny Andersson spoke of his sadness at the drummer’s death, describing it as "tragic".

Mr Brunkert, who was originally from Stockholm, was a session musician who was in Abba’s original line-up in the 1970s, continuing to work with the band into the 1980s.

He worked on all the group’s albums and performed on tour with them. He moved to Majorca about 20 years ago and was a member of a local jazz band.

Mr Brunkert, who was a widower, is survived by a son, who also lives on the island.

The Swedish press are also, of course, reporting the story…

From Dagens Nyheter:

It’s incredibly sad that Ola Brunkert is gone, he meant a great deal to Abba, especially during our first records, says Benny Andersson.

– Last time I met him was in the beginning of last year when he was in Sweden for an Abba tribute that Claes Af Geijerstam had put together with a lot of our old musicians. Ola was a fine man.
From Aftonbladet:
"He was a very good friend" – Björn Ulvaeus mourns his colleague.

Björn Ulveaus, Mats Ronnander and Janne Schaffer mourn for Ola Brunkert not just as a music associate but also as a friend.

– He was a very good friend says Björn Ulveaus
Colleague and Abba member Björn Ulveaus is undoubtly shocked when he finds out that Ola Brunkert has been found dead in Mallorca.

– It’s so sad. He was very important to Abba during our first years. It was he who played the drums in the beginning to start with. He was one of the best drummers in the country says Björn Ulveaus.
"Kind and Humble"
– He was nice , humble, artistic and creative. He always had something to contribute. He was also a very dear friend he says.
Music associate and guitar player Mats Ronnander hadn’t heard that Ola has passed away when Aftonbladet called him.

– No what are you saying?. I have to sit down. God, how sad he says.

Mats Ronnander played with Abba a number of years with Ola Brunkert. As late as spring the both participated in a tribute tour for Abba in Sweden.

– I feel a deep sadness. We have worked together a lot and gotten to know each other, he says.

Guitarist Janne Schaffer worked with Ola Brunkert under many years. Among other things the were part of the same trio in the 70’s. They also played together with Abba and Ted Gärdestad.

– It’s incredibly sad . My thoughts goes out to his sons who has now lost both their parents, he says.

Many thanks to Jimmy Whitefield for the main translations from Aftonbladet, Dagens Nyheter plus an additional item from Aftonbladet.


  • How very sad to hear this news today – and the manner of Ola’s untimely death is particularly shocking.

    One cannot under-estimate the importance he brought to Abba’s recordings and the way in which he supported the group throughout their career.

    My heart goes out to his two sons who lost their mother only 6 months ago and who now have to deal with this second loss.

  • Yes, very tragic. That is no age to die.

    I met Ola once – at a type of convention for drummers. He seemed great fun and of course, was part of what we fans rightly or wrongly call the ABBA family.

    He certainly, as B&B have acknowledged, played his part in the story of ABBA and for that fans will be very sad at his loss and have great sympathy for his sons and extended family and friends.

  • The beat goes On and On and On… Ola kept us dancing whenever we listedned to ABBA. He kept our toes tappinmg, our hands clapping and warmed our hearts… Saddened to hear of his tragic, early demise. Thoughts and prayers go our to his two sons.. may they blessed with the strength they need to get throught to the other side of this tragedy in their family. Thank you Ola for your talent, gifts and contribution to ABBA. It is truly an amazing legacy you left us all with…

  • Incredibly sad and tragic accident. As with all the ABBA musicians, he was always there in the background never craving any attention. He was there on stage at the Eurovision Song Contest and all the way through to 1982.

    He must surely be second only to Ringo Starr on drumming on the most successful songs pop songs ever.

Please leave a comment...