ABBA is set to become unlikely fashionistas with its Voyage live show next month – with Dolce & Gabbana designing outfits especially for the group.
I can reveal that it was ABBA who invited the luxury Italian fashion house to help dress Agnetha Faltskog, Frida Lyngstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson for their special shows in London.
But the successful quartet won’t slip into designer outfits themselves.
THE GROUP HAS PUSHED THE LIMITS OF FASHION
The unique costumes have been digitized and will be “worn” by the avatars of the band members, who will “act out” the show.
My exclusive photo shows the avatar of Agnetha wearing one of the outfits, a white Grecian-style dress with a gold belt.
In their heyday in the ’70s, pop behemoths pushed fashion boundaries by rocking eccentric jumpsuits and flares.
But digital performers will wear brand new gear when they take to the stage at the purpose-built ABBA Arena in East London when virtual shows open on May 27.
A gig insider said: “Dolce & Gabbana got on board very early on in the process and it took years.
“He’s one of the few designers who worked on the costumes, which were sewn together before being digitized by the experts at Industrial Light and Magic, who are behind the shows.
“It was really important that each thread moved on stage as it would if worn by a real person, so the meticulous process took years, but the results are amazing.”
The show will feature 20 songs, including two from their No. 1 reunion album Voyage, released last November. He will also see avatars talking to the crowd.
Although they said they would never sing live again – hence the digital residency – it is hoped that all four members could be on opening night.
Bjorn said: “It’s such a privilege. No artist has ever experienced this. You are there on stage, and yet you can see it and feel it. I can not wait to be there.
COME AND GO…
AVA MAX posed in this goofy outfit to plug her new single, the fiery summer anthem Maybe You’re The Problem, which is about blaming a partner for relationship troubles.
She said: “Everyone always says, ‘It’s not you, it’s me’, but sometimes the problem really isn’t me, it’s you.
“This new music is the most personal I’ve ever done.”
Other new tracks released today include Teardrops by MK and Paul Woolford, Save Me by HRVY and Steve Aoki, and Marina, formerly Marina And The Diamonds, has released a tenth anniversary version of her album Electra Heart.
And Lady Gaga confirmed my story that her new single Hold My Hand, from the latest Top Gun Maverick movie, will be released next Tuesday.
CLARA FROM RADIO 1: PLEASE SKIP BREAKFAST
CLARA AMFO declined to host Radio 1’s breakfast show when Greg James finally quit.
He has been the anchor since 2018 when he took over from Nick Grimshaw.
But Clara, who joined the station in 2015 and is seen by many as its natural successor to what is generally seen as the BBC station’s top job, told NME: “I couldn’t do it.
“I have the greatest respect for Greg and for Grimmy, who preceded him.
“But it’s one of those where you have to really want to do it to do it. And I don’t really want to do it, it’s as simple as that.
Explaining in the discipline of being a Radio 1 DJ, she added: ‘You always have to be on, but for breakfast you have to be a particular kind of on, and I don’t think I could stand it. .
“I did breakfasts (shows) on the weekend and I could do it again, but every day? No, I know my way.
KIM WAIL OF THE BAND
KIM KARDASHIAN cries with relief in the latest episode of her family’s Hulu reality show after now-estranged husband Kanye West retrieves a laptop containing the rest of her sex tape with ex-boyfriend Ray J.
Kim, who had feared it would be leaked like the other party in 2007, told her family, “Kanye came home last night and I want to show you what he got me.
“He got the whole fucking tape back from me. He met Ray J and got everything back for me.
“I know Kanye did this for me, but he also did this for my kids.
“I want to protect them from that and if I have the power, or if Kanye has the power, that’s the most important thing.
“I’m so emotional because of it. It means a lot.”
ASTON SUPPORTS SARAH TRIBUTE
ASTON MERRYGOLD wants JLS to perform at the Sarah Harding tribute concert which is being planned by his bandmates Girls Aloud.
On the prospect of joining the fundraiser alongside Marvin Hume, JB Gill and Oritse Williams, he said, “I would love to. Sarah was a beautiful soul. It’s always an honor to perform at tributes like this.
Aston added that Sarah’s death from cancer last September and the death last month of The Wanted singer Tom Parker, two years after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour, had had a profound impact on him.
Aston, who will join the cast of traveling show Footloose The Musical from July 25, said: “It’s unthinkable, so awful.
“It puts life in perspective. You have to live each day as if it were the last and take full advantage of it.
“You have to put a positive spin on things and live the way you want.”
LIL NAS X is working on their second album in the UK.
The Industry Baby rapper was on vacation in Paris but traveled to London this week to get into the studio.
On social media, he’s already teased new songs Late To The Party, Down Souf H**s and Lean On My Body, but the American star has even more to do on the follow-up to Montero’s debut last year.
While recording here, I hope one of ours will collaborate with him on the album.
CHRISTMAS STILL RIBBING ROB
NOEL GALLAGHER has reignited his feud with Robbie Williams, calling his biggest hit, 1997’s Angels, “a piece of Oasis in numbers”.
Noel said, “I heard it. And thought what? “I wish I had written that”? Angels is Oasis in numbers.
“Add a fucking electric guitar to it and it would be.”
Noel and his brother Liam had a series of run-ins with Robbie through the 90s and 2000s. Noel One called his rival a “fat Take That dancer”.
And Robbie sent this column a wreath claiming that Oasis was dead after the release of their 2000 album Standing On The Shoulder Of Giants.
Noel once lived near Robbie in London but never bothered to call.
He told the Matt Morgan podcast: “We were neighbors briefly. (Noel’s wife) Sara saw him with his wife pushing their newborn baby around the block. I never saw it.
“Sara would be friendlier to him and his wife than me. Not that I’m hostile at all, just, you know.
Noel has always been a gentleman to me, as has Robbie.
But given the faux snowflake intricacies of the showbiz world now, it’s nice to see a bit of a joke flying again.