Jan Harpo Svennson started working as an actor in his home country of Sweden in the late 1960s, but music remained a distraction. He recalled to Mojo August 2009: "I began writing music for the plays I was in. All my friends said, 'You should make a record.'"
In 1972 he signed with Polar (the company that homed ABBA) and began a children's album with Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus. It wasn't completed, so Polar released Harpo from the contract but he stayed in contact with ABBA. In 1973 he signed with EMI Sweden and his first single "Honolulu" was a Swedish hit.
The same year, he'd visited London and linked up with English producer Mickie Most, who was sure international success was beckoning. Harpo recorded this song with ABBA's Anni-Frid Lyngstad on backing vocals singing the words "Moviestar Moviestar." It became an international hit, topping the charts in Sweden and Germany and peaking at #24 in the UK. However, the Swede explained to Mojo that he became the second Swedish act after ABBA to achieve success against the odds as EMI, "didn't even send the records to other countries. 'Moviestar' was released by DJM in England, where EMI had said, 'No, we don't release anything from Sweden.'"
After the song's success EMI took notice and wanted him back. However ensuing business wrangles prevented Harpo from fully capitalizing on his hit and despite some sporadic success in other European countries, this was to be his one and only UK chart entry.