Obituary: Barbro “Lill-Babs” Svensson

Swedish singer and actress Lill-Babs, who recently starred in Bonus Family, has passed away after a short illnees at 80 years of age. In early March, she suffered from heart failure, and during her stay in hospital a malignant tumour was found.

Barbro “Lill-Babs” Svensson was born in Järvsö in 1938 and released her first album in 1954. She became known as the Järvsø Judy Garland but was later given the name Lill-Babs by Simon Brehm, who discovered her on the Morgonkvisten radio show and became her manager.

Lill-Babs finished fourteenth when representing Sweden at the 1961 Eurovision Song Contest in Cannes with the song April, April. However, she participated in Sweden’s qualifying Melodifestivalen three times overall (1960, 1961 and 1973), and even entered Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix in 1969.

As the singing career of Lill-Babs flourished throughout the decades, she became a national treasure. But her most recent success was in the critically acclaimed role as Gugge in SVT hit drama Bonus Family (Bonusfamiljen).

Such was the impact of her passing that SVT and TV4 changed their schedules to accommodate programmes in tribute to Lill-Babs. She leaves behind three daughters: Monica Svensson, Malin Berghagen and Kristin Kaspersen.

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