|Birth name||Malin Sofia Katarina Berggren|
|Also known as||Linn|
|Born||31 October 1970|
|Origin||Västra Götalands län, Göteborg, Sweden|
|Associated acts||Ace of Base|
Malin Sofia Katarina Berggren (born 31 October 1970) is a former member of the band Ace of Base. Having been interested and involved in music since her childhood, she formed the band in 1987, along with her sister Jenny, her brother Jonas and their friend Ulf Ekberg. Before forming Ace of Base, Malin sang in her church's choir. She was born in Gothenburg, Sweden.
When Ace of Base was signed to Danish label Mega Records in 1990, Malin, or Linn as she became known, chose to put her teaching career on hold. But while her sister Jenny has stated she always wanted to be a singer, Linn has never said anything similar. On the contrary, in 1997 Linn said: "I wanted to sing; I never wanted to be a singer". Linn's vocal range is contralto; she is recognized by her distinguishable vibrato and expressive, unique voice.
Ace of Base
During the promotion for Ace of Base's first album, Linn was the principal lead vocalist for the majority of the singles and was generally the focus in the videos, although on some singles ("The Sign", "Waiting for Magic") and album tracks Jenny and Linn shared leads. Linn had a somewhat minor role in the composition of Happy Nation and The Sign, only having co-writing credits on one track on a re-release of the former. She was influential in the development of "All That She Wants", demanding that the track be changed from major key to minor. The focus in both vocals and media became more equal with her younger sister, Jenny, during the release of their second album, The Bridge. Linn had a bigger role in the composition of The Bridge and wrote and produced several songs for the album. In 1997, it was reported that Linn would venture into a solo project, releasing the song "Lapponia", which was previously submitted for inclusion on The Bridge and later for Flowers. The song was to be accompanied by a documentary about Samar culture. Despite this, the song never received an official release.
Background role (1997-2002)
Beginning in 1997, Linn appeared at her band's concerts only to perform in the background behind keyboards. From 1997 onwards, her appearance in the band's music videos became much less than it had been in previous videos. Her image in the videos became at times blurred ("Cruel Summer") or almost nonexistent ("Travel to Romantis"). Linn has not granted a personal television interview since that year. The other band members, too, have been somewhat reluctant to explain what has happened to Ace of Base's former lead singer. Linn frequently avoids cameras.
The band's management and record companies have explained Linn's odd behavior inconsistently over the years. In 1997, when Linn did not perform at the World Music Awards, Claes Cornelius at Mega Records said it was because she did not wish to wear the heavy make-up the performance would have required. The band performed "Ravine" with Linn pretending to play keyboards in the far background of the stage. In 1998 when Linn walked off the set of the "Cruel Summer" video in Rome, her manager said it was because she did not wish to appear in the foreground of the video. Director Nigel Dick later revealed she would not have appeared at all, were it not for his insistence. As a result, Jenny performed both her own and Linn's parts in the video. Bravo magazine claimed later that year that Linn was seriously ill, a claim which appeared to be true, based on Linn's odd, shaking appearance on Germany's television spot The Dome, and photos appearing in Bravo. Ulf Ekberg once claimed Linn had a "camera phobia", but other sources have cited her long-time fear of flying as the reason for her absence at the band's concerts. However, Linn also did not appear at events in Gothenburg and Copenhagen, where she would not have had to fly. The members of the band have stated that she has always been a shy and retiring person and was happy to let Jenny lead the band, although a knife attack on Jenny and her mother in 1994 was also said to be in part responsible for her reluctance to appear in public. The attacker was a German girl, later arrested, who claimed to be targeting Linn. Some fans believe Linn's odd behavior is explained in the lyrics of "Strange Ways", a track that she wrote and produced for The Bridge.
In Linn's last personal television interview, from 1997, she stated her wish to "try what Jenny has done" by no longer being the focus of the band. The eight videos filmed after this interview have mostly complied with her wishes. Other promotional materials, such as album covers and inserts, also feature blurred, unsmiling, distinctly unhappy photographs of her. The Flowers album uses the infamous 'blue lines' photograph, where Linn's unhappy image is bizarrely hidden behind the booklet's blue line design. Linn infrequently took part in group interviews with her other band members throughout 1998 for the promotion of the Flowers album, however, her participation was minimal. Linn granted one final radio interview on Mix FM in Lebanon in 1998, where she talked about new album plans and sang "All That She Wants" a capella.
Linn co-wrote three tracks with her fellow bandmates for Ace of Base's 2002 release Da Capo. Her last public appearance was during the promotion of Da Capo in September 2002, where she showed up to a German television performance and mimed playing the keyboards in the background. A fan snapped a picture of a calm, smiling Linn outside the studio. Her final appearance with Ace of Base was in the Unspeakable music video which was filmed in December 2002.
In the spring of 2005, interviews with Linn's sister Jenny seemed to indicate Linn's desire to return to the spotlight again, but Linn still remained hidden from the public and has not granted an interview with any news agency or media organization since the release of the "Our Story" documentary in 1998. The public has not caught a glimpse of her in several years. In October and November 2005, the band made appearances at a series of 15 concerts at the Night of the Proms in Belgium; as usual, Linn was "unable to attend", and only Jonas, Ulf, and Jenny made appearances at these concerts. In 2006, it was mentioned that Ace of Base had recorded six new songs featuring vocals by both Malin and Jenny. Some of these tracks later surfaced on the 2015 release Hidden Gems. In 2007, Linn provided backing vocals on the track "High Life" in Jenny's secondary band, Arose.
According to an interview given by Ulf Ekberg on 20 June 2006, Malin returned to the university and would record vocals on the band's new album. However, on 30 November 2007, Ulf stated in an interview that Malin Berggren had left the band and she would not be featured on the band's new album. The group had already been performing mostly without Linn as a trio for a solid decade before her departure. Band-mate and sister Jenny confirmed Linn's departure in the Danish press: "She hasn't been part of Ace of Base for several years," she stated in Se & Hør magazine. Linn's image was removed from most material on the band's official website but was reintroduced upon the release of Hidden Gems.
Linn is multi-lingual: her primary language is Swedish, but she speaks fluent English and German; she also speaks Spanish, Russian and French. Other details of Linn's life, such as those of her life outside the band, are completely unknown to the public—whereas the other band members have been open about their relationships (Jonas and Jenny both have spouses, each with children, and Ulf has three children with his long-time girlfriend). As of 2015, Jonas confirmed he still sees Linn regularly and that she is enjoying a peaceful life with no interest in fame or returning to music.
Contributions to Ace of Base music
Linn has contributed vocals for all original Ace of Base songs except:
- Fashion Party (Jenny, Ulf, & Jonas)
- My Mind (Jenny & Ulf)
- Dimension of Depth (instrumental)
- Ravine (Jenny)
- Experience Pearls (Jenny)
- Wave Wet Sand (Jenny)
- Mercy Mercy (Jenny)
- I Pray (Jenny & Ulf)
- Donnie (US version) (Jenny)
- Don't Go Away (Jenny)
- Unspeakable (Jenny)
- Remember the Words (Jenny)
- World Down Under (Jenny)
- Wonderful Life (Jenny)
- Show Me Love (Jenny)
Linn's writing credits for Ace of Base tracks:
- Hear Me Calling (with Jonas & Jenny Berggren and Ulf Ekberg)
- Strange Ways
- Whispers In Blindness (the "Dr. X-Ray" credited in this song, and whom Linn thanks in the acknowledgments for The Bridge, was her father, Göran Berggren, who played flute for the song)
- Just N Image
- Lapponia (demo)
- Love in December (with Jonas & Jenny Berggren and Ulf Ekberg)
- Beautiful Morning (with Jenny & Jonas Berggren)
- Change With the Light (with Jenny & Jonas Berggren and Ulf Ekberg)
- What's the Name of the Game (with Jenny & Jonas Berggren, Harry Sommerdahl, and Jonas von der Burg)
Linn's production credits for Ace of Base tracks:
- Strange Ways
- Whispers In Blindness
- Just N Image
- Performed at Princess Victoria's 20th birthday on July 14, 1997.
- "Ace of Base Biography". shopping.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2009-10-18.
- Avsnitt 3: Ace of Base. SVT. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- "Big Surprise". Archived from the original on April 6, 2015. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
- Cornelius, Claes (1998). "Out of Focus and Far Away: What Happened to Linn?". Teenage Heaven. aceofbase.com. Retrieved 2002-04-14.
- Falischeer, Andreas (Spring 1998). "Wie Krank ist Malin?". Bravo.
- Ace of Base: Our Story, 1998
- Sheerer, Mark (3 September 1998). "Ace of Base reaching out with 'Cruel Summer'" (&NDASH; SCHOLAR SEARCH). CNN.[dead link]
- Storylast - Ace of Base interview
- Paasonen, Hannah-Reetta (2005). "Our Story Recap". Story Meant to Last. Archived from the original on February 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-25.
- Flowers. Compact disc booklet. Mega Records, 1998.
- "Ace of Base - Escenario CNN en Español 1998" (in Spanish). CNN. 1998. Retrieved April 17, 2015.
- YouTube - Linn at Mix FM radio 98
- YouTube - Ace of Base 2002 SKL SHOW
- Ace of Base UK website
- Ace of Base official site
- Interview with Ulf Ekberg
- Interview with Ulf Ekberg in Tallinn, Estonia November 2007.
- Olausen, Tonny (November 2007). "Vi Elsker Danmark [We Love Denmark]". Se & Hør: 20–21.
- "Linn Berggren". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
- "Tour but no album 2007: Swedish newspaper interviews Jonas and Ulf" Ace-News.de 2006