Swedish pop star Peter Jöback rose to fame in his native Sweden thanks to a high-profile role in Kristina Från Duvemåla (Kristina from Duvemala), a musical written by former ABBA members Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. Educated as a child at Stockholm’s Adolf Fredrik Music School, Jöback started landing roles in various locally produced musicals like The Sound of Music and Snow White when he was in elementary school.
After winning Sweden’s “New Talent” contest in 1989, Jöback went on to participate in the following year’s Melodifestivalen competition with the song “A Sensation.” Jöback didn’t make it to the Eurovision contest, but his time in the preliminaries secured his place as one of Sweden’s most promising up-and-coming vocalists. Jöback soon found himself snagging several high-profile roles over the course of the next few years, co-hosting several episodes of the Swedish Top of the Pops, starring in musicals like Fame and The Jungle Book, and providing the vocals for the title character in the 1993 Swedish overdub of Disney’s Aladdin.
Jöback’s big break came when he landed the role of Robert in Kristina Från Duvemåla. Premiering in Malmö in 1995, the musical eventually went on to become the second longest-running musical in Sweden and win four Guldmasken (Swedish Tony) Awards. Jöback landed a deal with Sony soon after the musical premiered, and his first album, Personliga Val (Personal Choices), hit stores in Sweden in 1997. The album soared to number two on the Swedish charts, and Jöback went on to be nominated for Artist of the Year at that year’s Swedish Grammy Awards on the strength of that release. Jöback returned to the stage for another season of Kristina Från Duvemåla in 1998. One of Jöback’s songs from the original cast album of that production, “The Gold Turned into Sand,” became a smash hit that year, holding the number one spot on the Swedish charts for nearly 40 weeks. Jöback went on to win his first Guldmasken for his portrayal of Robert in 1999. His sophomore album, Only When I Breathe, arrived one year later, peaking at number one on the Swedish charts. Another pop album, I Feel Good and I’m Worth It, and a highly acclaimed Christmas album followed in 2002.
Jöback starred as the MC in a Copenhagen-based production of Cabaret the following year, and put out two more chart-topping albums, Det Har Är Platsen and Storybook, in 2004, the latter with the Gothenburg Symphony. A double-disc greatest-hits compilation featuring two new songs came out in 2006. Människor Som Du och Jag followed in 2007, and 2008 saw another hit holiday album with En God Jul och ett Gott Nytt År. East Side Stories, a cover album of songwriters including Chris Isaak, Ron Sexsmith, and Rufus Wainwright, arrived in 2009 and featured guest appearances by Kate Pierson, Declan O’Rourke, and Sia. The year 2011 brought Livet, Kärleken och Döden: La Vie, l’Amour, la Mort, and I Love Musicals: The Album, a recorded version on his stage show featuring the Stockholm Sinfonietta, came in 2013.
Internationally, Peter’s success in Kristina Från Duvemåla brought him to the attention of London’s West End, where he made his debut in 1997 as Chris in Miss Saigon. Sir Cameron Mackintosh then personally cast Peter to star in the West End premiere of The Witches of Eastwick.
Peter went on to play the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera in the West End and starred in its 25th Anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall, before being asked by Cameron Mackintosh, Hal Prince and Andrew Lloyd Webber to perform the role in the show’s 30th anniversary on Broadway.
Alongside his successful musical theatre career in London and New York, and his massive pop-crossover career in Sweden, it was in 2012 that Peter created an arena show concept called ‘I Love Musicals’. After sold-out arena tours in 2012, 2013 and 2015, he took his concept to Tokyo in 2016 for two sold-out concerts in the iconic Budokan arena, before performing ‘I Love Musicals’ at the Ullevi football stadium in Gothenburg in front of 27,000 people – the biggest musicals concert of all-time.
Originally released in 2012, ‘I Love Musicals’ is a stunning collection of Peter’s renditions of the best songs from world famous musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera, Cabaret, Jesus Christ Superstar, Chess, Miss Saigon, and Sweeney Todd. On Westway’s 10th Anniversary Edition, Peter has recorded an exclusive bonus track which is an English language version of Down To The Sea, the beautiful ballad from the musical that kickstarted his career, Kristina Från Duvemåla, by Björn and Benny.
The album is an eclectic compilation celebrating musical theatre and is an enjoyable listen. The hauntingly emotional rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ from Carousel and the powerful ‘Why God Why’ from Miss Saigon are two of our favourites besties, but the absolute stand out track has to be ‘I Don’t Care Much’ from Cabaret – definitely worth a listen! With the bonus track of ‘Down To The Sea’ from Kristina Fran Duvemala, you will not be disappointed to find this in your Christmas stocking!