Marie Fredriksson of Roxette performs in Spain in 2015
Photo: Jordi Vidal/Getty Images
Marie Fredriksson, Singer For Roxette, Dies at 61
Marie Fredriksson, the singer for Swedish pop rock duo Roxette, died Dec. 9 following a 17-year-long battle with cancer. She was 61 years old.
Dimberg Jernberg Management, the management company that represents Roxette, confirmed the news of her death in a press release posted on the company's website, in addition to messages shared on the group's and Fredriksson's official Facebook pages.
"Marie leaves us a grand musical legacy," the press release states. "Her amazing voice – both strong and sensitive – and her magical live performances will be remembered by all of us who was [sic] lucky enough to witness them. But we also remember a wonderful person with a huge appetite for life, and woman with a very big heart who cared for everybody she met."
Per Gessle, vocalist/guitarist and chief songwriter of Roxette, posted his condolences on his official Twitter page, writing, "I’m honoured to have met your talent+generosity. All my love goes to you+your family. Things will never be the same."
One of Sweden's most beloved and successful artists, Fredriksson formed Roxette alongside bandmate and good friend Gessle in 1986. Following Fredriksson's 1984 solo debut album, Het vind, the duo released their debut album, Pearls Of Passion, in 1986.
While their debut album was an immediate commercial success in their native Sweden, the group first gained international recognition via their second album, 1988's global multiplatinum full-length, Look Sharp! The album produced the international hits "The Look" and "Listen To Your Heart," both of which topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the U.S.
Their 1987 hit, "It Must Have Been Love," became the duo's third Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper, while an edited version of the track was featured on the soundtrack of the 1990 film, "Pretty Woman." The group notched its fourth and final U.S. No. 1 hit in 1991 via "Joyride," the lead single and title track of their third album released that same year.
Born in 1958 in south Sweden, Fredriksson got her start in the local indie music scene in the late '70s. Her early projects included the punk group Strul, which was behind the successful independent music festival Strulfestivalen, and MaMas Barn, in addition to her work with other Swedish groups and as a solo artist. Fredriksson would go on to release 10 studio albums with Roxette and eight solo albums.
In 2002, Fredriksson was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in the back of her head. After a successful surgery to remove the tumor, she began to work, alongside her husband Mikael Bolyos, on what would become her 2004 album, The Change, which ultimately debuted at No. 1 in her home country of Sweden.
Following an eight-year hiatus due to Fredriksson's health, Roxette reunited in 2009, followed by regular tours as a duo starting in 2010. After the reunion, Fredriksson would go on to release three albums with Roxette—Charm School (2011), Travelling (2012) and Good Karma (2016)—and one final solo album via 2013's Nu!
In 2016, Fredriksson ceased touring to focus on her health at the advisement of her doctors.
Fredriksson is survived by her husband, Mikael Bolyos, and her two children, Josefin and Oscar.