Dec 30, 2022
By Andy Johnson
It’s come to light that not only was ABBA one of Sweden’s best selling musical exports, the group never earned a penny from the 1979 hit “Chaquitita”
The song was written for UNICEF’s Year of the Child.
“Chaquitita” means little girl in Spanish and founding member and songwriter Bjorn Ulvaeus says by giving the song’s copyright to UNICEF, millions of dollars have been raised over the years through record sales, radio play and streaming.
One of the beneficiaries is a primary school in the poorest region of Guatemala where UNICEF uses the money to pay for health care and education. The royalties have also been used to help address complex Central American issues like extreme poverty, domestic violence and alcohol abuse.
43-years ago, Ulvaeus says he was more concerned about having a hit record and never in his wildest dream could he have imagined the song would bring in so much money and do so much good.
He calls that the best legacy anyone could wish for.