Ola Brunkert was born in Örebro, Sweden. He played with Slim's Blues Gang, before joining the pop group Science Poption. He then formed the jazz-rock combo Opus III with the guitarist Janne Schaffer and by 1970 had become one of the most sought after session drummers in Stockholm.
Career with ABBA
Ola Brunkert first played for ABBA on their first single, People Need Love, as well as the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest winning song Waterloo (song), where he appeared on stage during the contest. In addition, he played on a large number of ABBA's songs throughout the 1970s. On the 1976 album Arrival, ABBA promised "one day we're gonna let you hear him sing" in the notes for the album. In addition to Eurovision, he appeared onstage with ABBA during their 1977 European and Australian tour, 1979 North America and European tour and 1980 Japanese tour. His last recording session with ABBA came in 1981 with the song One of Us.
Later life and death
Ola Brunkert purchased a house in Majorca in the 1980s, where he lived for the remainder of his life. Less than a year after the death of his wife Inger in 2007, he also died. He suffered cuts from a glass door, and died before he could seek help. Upon his death, Björn Ulvaeus said "I remember him as a good friend.", and that it was "tragic news". He added that "he was a very creative musician who contributed a lot when we toured together and worked in the studio." Benny Andersson also said that the news of his death was "tragic".