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A-ha is a Grammy Award-nominated band from Norway. They are the best selling Norwegian band around the world with a total of 70 million records sold . They rose to fame during the 1980s, but continued to be globally successful in the 1990s and 2000s. The trio, composed of lead vocalist Morten Harket, guitarist Paul Waaktaar-Savoy (Pål Waaktaar until his marriage in 1994) and keyboardist Magne Furuholmen, formed in 1982 and left Norway for London in order to make a career in the music business. They chose the studios of musician, producer and soon-to-be-manager John Ratcliff, because it had a Space Invaders machine. The origin of the name "a-ha" comes from the lyrics of an early song ("Nothing To It"). After checking dictionaries in several languages, they found out that "a-ha" was an international way of expressing recognition, with positive connotations. It was short, easy to say and unusual.
- In 1989, a-ha played in Rio de Janeiro at the Praça da Apoteose (the place where the Rio carnaval takes place annually). The organizers expected an audience of 40,000; however 100,000 showed up.
- Although the song is not featured on the fourth album, the title of the fourth album "East of the Sun (West of the Moon)" is taken from the 1935 song by Brooks Bowman of the Princeton Triangle Club which became a jazz anthem.
- On the tour of South America in 1991, a-ha played for over three million people in under a month and twenty-five shows, in addition to their world record performance at the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- In 1991, a-ha set a Guinness Book World Record by playing for the largest paying audience in the world: 198,000 people.
- a-ha's music video for the song "I Wish I Cared" has been widely reported as the first fully web-based animated flash music video to be made available, followed closely by Madonna. However, Duran Duran's "Someone Else, Not Me" actually achieved this accolade one full year earlier in 2000.
- In 1999, Paul Waaktaar-Savoy received an award: a-ha have been played 2,000,000 times on U.S. radio-stations.
- "a-ha on the net" in 2001 from Valhall in Oslo, Norway, was the third most-viewed webcast concert ever as 3.6 million hits were recorded, 500,000 with an average viewing time of 28 minutes. The average viewing time was the longest for a webcast concert.
- a-ha tours with a backing band. The current band includes the drummer Per Lindvall, who used to play drums in ABBA's backing band, and has toured with a-ha since 2000.
a-ha has sold 79 million records (including singles) worldwide.