|Single by ABBA|
|from the album Voulez-Vous|
|Released||16 January 1979|
|Recorded||13 December 1978|
|Studio||Polar Music Studio|
|ABBA singles chronology|
"Chiquitita" (a Spanish term of endearment for a woman meaning "little one") is a song recorded by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was released in January 1979 as the first single from the group's Voulez-Vous album. Agnetha Fältskog sang the lead vocals. Originally, the track "If It Wasn't for the Nights" was going to be the album's lead single, but after "Chiquitita" was completed those plans were abandoned, and it would remain an album track.
Many preliminary versions of "Chiquitita" exist. It had working titles of "Kålsupare", "3 Wise Guys", "Chiquitita Angelina" and "In The Arms of Rosalita". A revised version, which had a sound that was influenced by the Peruvian song "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" performed by Simon and Garfunkel, was recorded in December 1978 and released as a single in January 1979.
With the success of the English version, ABBA also recorded "Chiquitita" in Spanish by phonetics,[clarification needed] and it was one of the featured tracks on the Spanish-language release Gracias Por La Música.
"Chiquitita" proved to be one of ABBA's biggest hits. It was featured in a 1979 UNICEF charity event, the Music for UNICEF Concert, broadcast worldwide from the United Nations General Assembly. As a direct result of this event, ABBA donated half of all royalties from the song to UNICEF. "Chiquitita" hit #1 in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, South Africa and Rhodesia, and was a Top 5 hit in ABBA's native Sweden, the United Kingdom (peaking at #2 in both countries where Blondie's "Heart of Glass" was occupying the top spot), Australia, Germany and Norway, making it the most successful single from the Voulez-Vous album in terms of global charts and one of the most famous charity songs ever. To this day, 50% of the proceeds from the song go to UNICEF in recognition of the "International Year of the Child" in 1979. In 2014, all ABBA members agreed on donating 100% of the royalties from the song to UNICEF.
In the United Kingdom, "Chiquitita" debuted at #8 in the singles chart, making it the highest place début for any ABBA single release.
In Argentina, sales figures up to the end of July 1979 on the single show 500,000 in the Spanish edition, and 25,000 in the original English language format.
"Chiquitita" was one of the very few singles ABBA released without a custom-made video. Since then, on compilations of the group's videos, a contemporary TV performance of the song has been used, recorded in March/April 1979, quite some time after the single's release. This clip was taped by the BBC during recording of the show ABBA in Switzerland, broadcast across Europe at Easter 1979, although this clip did not feature in the broadcast, being intended for a Christmas programme. ABBA are seen performing the song on a mountainside, with a snowman in the background. Throughout the clip, the bad weather and bad light caused problems during filming, which affected Anni-Frid Lyngstad; her hair constantly flew in her face, and she was forced to keep moving it out of her eyes, so it was not used. During the location shoot in Leysin, the BBC recorded two further versions of the group lip-synching to the song. The group performed the song inside the BBC Big Top used to host 'ABBA in Switzerland' which was included in the final broadcast and a second video was shot of the group sitting around a table in a cafe, for the show Christmas Snowtime Special shown on BBC1 on 23 December 1979, hosted by Dame Edna Everage. The clip of the group filmed outside with the snowman was originally intended for this Christmas show, but producer/director Michael Hurll recorded the second clip as he was not happy with the first.
- Agnetha Fältskog – lead vocals
- Anni-Frid Lyngstad – backing vocals
- Björn Ulvaeus – guitar
- Benny Andersson – keyboards
Certifications and sales
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||500,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|Single by Cher|
|from the album Dancing Queen|
|Released||8 May 2020|
|Cher singles chronology|
American singer-actress Cher's version of "Chiquitita" was releaed as the fourth single from her 2018 album of ABBA covers, Dancing Queen, on 8 May 2020. In 2020, following the coronavirus pandemic, Cher announced she had re-recorded the song in Spanish with all proceeds going to UNICEF, similar to how ABBA had done in 1979 with the release of the same song.
Cher's Spanish version of "Chiquitita" became her first song to chart on a US Latin Chart ever. It charted at #6 on the US Latin Digital Song Sales (Billboard) and #2 on the US Latin Pop Digital Song Sales (Billboard).
An accompanying music video for "Chiquitita" was premiered on UNICEF's website on 9 May 2020, uploaded to Cher's official YouTube channel shortly afterwards. Cher shot her part home, with the final cut of the video featuring children from around the world in it.
Track listings and formats
- "Chiquitita (Spanish Version)" – 4:49
- "Chiquitita" – 5:14
Credits and personnel
- Published by Universal Songs of PolyGramInt., Inc. (ASCAP) and EMI Grove Park Music Inc. (BMI)
- Recorded by Mark Taylor and Paul Meehan at Metrophonic Studios, London
- Mixed at by Matt Furmidge and Mark Taylor at Metrophonic Studios, London
- Mastered by Sthephen Marcussen Mastering, Hollywood, CA
- Cher – primary vocals
- Benny Andersson – songwriter
- Stig Anderson – songwriter
- Björn Ulvaeus – songwriter
- Ash Soan – drums
- Adam Phillips – guitars
- Hayley Sanderson – backing vocals
- Andy Caine – backing vocals
|US Latin Digital Song Sales (Billboard)||6|
|US Latin Pop Digital Song Sales (Billboard)||2|
Live cover performances, appearances in other media, etc.
- Menudo from Puerto Rico had an Album named Chiquitita in 1979 with a cover of the ABBA song Chiquitita.
- The song is performed in the Mamma Mia! musical and film by the characters of Tanya and Rosie. In the context of the musical, Donna has been surprised by the arrival of the three possible fathers of her daughter, and the song is used by her friends in order to comfort her and to find out why she is so upset; in the film they have to coax her out of hiding. It is one of three songs not to be featured on the official soundtrack.
- Leona Lewis performed the song on the British TV show The X Factor.
- "Chiquitita" was used as the opening song for the Japanese drama Strawberry on the Shortcake.
- It was used in episode 2.04 of Queer as Folk at the end.
- Charo recorded a Spanglish version for her 1981 studio album Bailando con Charo and later performed it at her 1988 concert in Reno at Bally's.
- Stephen Gately recorded his version for the Abbamania: Tribute to ABBA album in 1999, and the ABBA – Forever album in 2004.
- The famous Hungarian female singer Harangozó Teri sang the Hungarian Radio studio recording version in 1980.
- On 20 November 2014, Laleh Pourkarim performed the song live during a UNICEF event in New York City.
- Sinead O'Connor sang "Chiquitita" on the 1999 album "Across the Bridge of Hope". She also recorded a music video for the song.
- Chiquitita was later recreated as an instrumental song, played by pianist Raúl di Blasio in his 1991 album Alrededor Del Mundo.
- The Spanish singer Amaia Montero topped the Spanish charts in 2010 with her cover version of the song.
- Zdenka Vučković (hr) recorded a Croatian rendering of the song for inclusion on her 1980 album Zdenka.
- The song is used in the 2017 film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
- "ABBA – In The Arms of Rosalita Lyrics". Moodpoint.com. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- Oldham, A, Calder, T & Irvin, C: "ABBA: The Name of the Game", page 90. Sidgwick & Jackson, 1995
- "Abba The World". Billboard. 8 September 1979. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
- "Abba – Chiquitita". Retrieved 29 July 2011 – via YouTube.
- "Christmas Snowtime Special". The Radio Times (2928). 20 December 1979. p. 22. ISSN 0033-8060. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
- Palm, Carl Magnus. Abba: Bright Lights Dark Shadows. Omnibus Press; 3rd edition edition (1 September 2014) ISBN 978-1783053599
- "Austriancharts.at – ABBA – Chiquitita" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
- "Ultratop.be – ABBA – Chiquitita" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
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- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 August 2020.
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- Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 11.
- Downey, Pat; Albert, George; Hoffmann, Frank W (1994). Cash Box pop singles charts, 1950–1993. Libraries Unlimited. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-56308-316-7.
- "Forum – 1970 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian-charts.com. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 7 May 2017.
- "End of Year Charts 1979". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
- "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1979". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
- Swiss Year-End Charts, 1979
- "Top Singles 1979". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. 22 December 1979. p. 27.
- Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
- "Japanese single certifications – ABBA – Chiquitita" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 6 May 2020. Select 2001年2月 on the drop-down menu
- "Dutch single certifications – ABBA – Chiquitita" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 19 November 2019. Enter Chiquitita in the "Artiest of titel" box.
- "British single certifications – ABBA – Chiquitita". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 19 November 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Chiquitita in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "Dancing Queen - Cher | Credits". AllMusic.
- "Cher's Billboard Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
- "Cher's Billboard Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
- "Harangozó Teri – Chiquitita". 25 August 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2016 – via YouTube.
- "Ulvaeus och Laleh i FN" (in Swedish). Svenska dagbladet. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
- "Sinead O'Connor – Chiquitita (Official Video)". 8 March 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2016 – via YouTube.
- Spanish charts (up to 2013) / official charts