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Laleh to sing cover version of ABBA hit ‘Chiquitita’

Proceeds from New York concert will go to UNICEF

Swedish singer Laleh is set to perform the hit song ‘Chiquitita’ by ABBA to raise funds and awareness as the United Nations commemorates the 25th anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, representatives for ABBA confirmed in a statement on November 18.

Former ABBA member Bjorn Ulvaeus is to attend events in New York on November 20 along with Laleh, who is to perform her cover version of Chiquitita, which ABBA released in 1979.

Since that date, ABBA has donated royalties from the song to Unicef after the group took part in a benefit concert in New York marking the start of the United Nations Year of the Child.

Ulvaeus said he believed there would be “a better world” if girls and young women “are given education, are empowered and independent.”

“Chiquitita [a nickname that means little girl in Spanish] is a symbol for all the girls and women around the world who are denied their rightful place,” he added.

The ABBA Museum in Stockholm hatched the idea to invite other artists to record new versions of Chiquitita on behalf of Unicef, museum head Mattias Hansson said.

ABBA’s former studio which was moved to the museum would be made available for these recordings.

Iranian-born Laleh Pourkarim, 32, whose parents fled to Sweden via Azerbaijan and Belarus in 1991, produced her own version. She hoped it would help raise funds but also “give a little hope and encouragement to those who need it.”

Singer and former ABBA member Agnetha Faltskog, who performed the original version, said Laleh had made “a ‘new’ Chiquitita,” adding that Laleh’s voice “expresses so many different nuances of joy, sorrow and more.”

This year is the 40th anniversary of ABBA’s international breakthrough after their 1974 Eurovision Song Contest victory.

Original article appeared in http://gulfnews.com/ Nov. 20th 2014.

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