Cher to put out album of Abba covers

NEW YORK • Pop legend Cher (photo) on Tuesday announced an album of Abba covers as she stars in a film sequel to Mamma Mia!, the musical inspired by the iconic Swedish group.

In a fresh burst of activity by the 72-year-old singer and actress, she said that her creative spirit was rekindled after singing one of the signature tunes on Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which is coming out in United States theatres this week.

"After I did Fernando, I thought it would be really fun to do an album of Abba songs, so I did," she said on the NBC television daytime show Today.

"It's not what you think of when you think of Abba, because I did it in a different way," she said without revealing a tracklist or release date.

The album would be her first studio work since the dance music-driven 2013 album Closer To The Truth.

The former half of folk duo Sonny and Cher enjoyed a career revival in the 1990s and holds the record for the longest gap between No. 1 songs on the US chart at nearly 25 years.

In recent years, she has mostly concentrated on a residency show in Las Vegas. She had not appeared in a film since providing her voice to a lion in the 2011 movie Zookeeper.

The original Mamma Mia! stage musical and then movie weave together Abba songs to tell the story of Sophie, who plans her wedding on a Greek island alongside her free-spirited mother, Donna, and sets out to identify who her father is, with comic results.

The 2008 film starred Meryl Streep as Donna and Amanda Seyfried as Sophie, as well as Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard.

The highly anticipated sequel goes back in time as a pregnant Sophie learns more about her mother's past. Cher depicts the glamorous mother of Donna, played again by Streep, as she figures out how to act like a grandmother. British actress Lily James plays the younger version of Donna.

In a clip dedicated to Cher's new role in the sequel, she makes a stylish entry with bouffant white hair and a fitted suit.

"I come in a helicopter and walking up with a cane. I'm different," Cher says in the clip, in which her co-stars also talk about working with her.

She is also seen in glittering outfits as she dances with actor Andy Garcia and poses with Streep.

The sequel comes shortly after Abba itself unveiled new music, 35 years after the last single by the godparents of bubble-gum pop.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2018, with the headline 'Cher to put out album of Abba covers'. Print Edition | Subscribe