|Single by ABBA|
|from the album Voulez-Vous|
|Released||16 January 1979|
|Recorded||13 December 1978|
|Studio||Polar, Stockholm, Sweden|
|ABBA singles chronology|
"Chiquitita" ("little girl" in Spanish) is a song recorded by Swedish pop group ABBA. It was released in January 1979 as the first single from Voulez-Vous (1979), the group's sixth album. Agnetha Fältskog performs the lead vocals. Originally, the track "If It Wasn't for the Nights" was going to be the album's lead single, but after "Chiquitita" was completed these plans were abandoned, and it remained an album track.
Many preliminary versions of "Chiquitita" exist. It had working titles of "Kålsupare", "3 Wise Guys", "Chiquitita Angelina" and "In the Arms of Rosalita". A revised version, which had a sound that was influenced by the Peruvian song "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" performed by Simon and Garfunkel, was recorded in December 1978 and released as a single in January 1979.
With the success of the English version, ABBA recorded "Chiquitita" in Spanish, and it was one of the featured tracks on the Spanish-language release Gracias Por La Música.
"Chiquitita" proved to be one of ABBA's bigger hits. It was featured in the Music for UNICEF Concert, broadcast worldwide from the United Nations General Assembly in 1979. As a direct result of this event, ABBA donated 50% of all royalties from the song to UNICEF. "Chiquitita" was a no. 1 hit in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, South Africa and Rhodesia. It was a top 5 hit in ABBA's native Sweden, the United Kingdom (peaking at no. 2 in both countries where Blondie's "Heart of Glass" was occupying the top spot), Australia, West Germany and Norway. These sales makes it the most successful single from the album Voulez-Vous in terms of global charts and one of the more famous charity songs ever. To this day, 50% of the proceeds from the song go to UNICEF in recognition of the "International Year of the Child" in 1979. In 2014, all ABBA members agreed on increasing their donation to 100% of all royalties from the song to UNICEF. As of 2021, the song's royalties have raised $4.8 million for the charity.
In the United Kingdom, "Chiquitita" debuted at no. 8 in the singles chart, making it the highest place début for any ABBA single release.
In Argentina, sales figures up to the end of July 1979 on the single show 500,000 in the Spanish edition and 25,000 in the original English language format.
Cash Box wrote that it has "a bouncy tune" and "soaring harmonies."
As of September 2021, it is ABBA's ninth-biggest song in the UK, including both pure sales and digital streams.
"Chiquitita" was one of the few singles ABBA released without a custom-made video. Since then, on compilations of the group's videos, a contemporary TV performance of the song has been used, recorded in mid-February 1979, a month after the single's release. This clip was taped by the BBC during recording of the show ABBA in Switzerland, broadcast across Europe at Easter 1979, but this clip did not feature in the broadcast, being intended for a Christmas programme.
ABBA are seen performing the song on a mountainside, with a snowman in the background. Throughout the clip, the bad weather and bad light caused problems during filming, which affected Anni-Frid Lyngstad; her hair constantly flew in her face, and she was forced to keep moving it out of her eyes, so it was not used. During the location shoot in Leysin, the BBC recorded two other versions of the group lip-synching to the song. The group performed the song inside the BBC Big Top used to host ABBA in Switzerland, which was included in the final broadcast, and a second video was shot of the group sitting around a table in a cafe, for the show Christmas Snowtime Special shown on BBC1 on 23 December 1979, hosted by Dame Edna Everage. The clip of the group filmed outside with the snowman was intended for this Christmas show, but producer/director Michael Hurll recorded the second clip because he was not happy with the first. In March 2022, a new lyric video was released featuring the mountainside footage.
SOS / Chiquitita
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold||500,000^|
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
|Single by Cher|
|Released||8 May 2020|
|Cher singles chronology|
On May 8, 2020, American singer-actress Cher announced she had re-recorded Chiquitita in Spanish with all proceeds going to UNICEF, similar to how ABBA had done in 1979 with the release of the same song.
Cher's Spanish version of "Chiquitita" became her first song to chart on a U.S. Latin chart. It charted at No. 6 on the US Latin Digital Song Sales (Billboard).
An accompanying music video for "Chiquitita" premiered on UNICEF's website on 9 May 2020 and uploaded to Cher's official YouTube channel shortly afterward. Cher shot her part at home, with the final cut of the video featuring children from around the world.
Credits for Dancing Queen adapted from AllMusic.
|US Latin Digital Song Sales (Billboard)||6|
Biggest sales for this disc were the Spanish version for the Latin market - 2,250,000 copies.