Marie Fredriksson, singer of Swedish pop rock duo Roxette, has died at the age of 61 following a lengthy battle with brain cancer.
Fredriksson’s Roxette bandmate, Per Gessle, confirmed news of her passing in a social media post. “Time goes by so quickly. It’s not that long ago we spent days+nights in my tiny apartment sharing impossible dreams. And what a dream we eventually got to share!” he wrote. “I’m honoured to have met your talent+generosity. All my love goes to you+your family. Things will never be the same.”
Hailing from Össjö, Sweden, Roxette’s musical aspirations began at a very early age. After discovering artists like The Beatles and Joni Mitchell, she enrolled in a local musical school and began writing theater productions. After graduating, she formed a punk group called Strul, launched her own annual summer music festival called Strulfestivalen, and recorded an album produced by ABBA guitarist Finn Sjöberg.
After achieving some success as a solo artist in the early 1980s, Fredriksson teamed up with Gessle to form Roxette in 1984. The duo’s first-ever recorded song, “Neverending Love”, debuted at No. 3 in their native Sweden, and their career took off from there. The group’s sophomore album, 1988’s Look Sharp!, went six-time Platinum in Sweden and contained a pair of international No. 1 hits in “The Look” and “Listen to Your Heart”.
In 1990, Roxette contributed a new version of their song “It Must Have Been Love” to the soundtrack to Pretty Woman, becoming their third No. 1 single. The following year brought the release of Roxette’s most commercially successful album, Joyride, which has sold more than 11 million copies to date. The title track to Joyride went on to become Roxette’s fourth No. 1 single.
Throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s, Roxette continued to release music while Fredriksson also recorded a series of solo records. Unfortunately, in 2002, after suffering an epileptic seizure, Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She continued to record music as a form of therapy and eventually became well enough to tour again in the late 2000s. Roxette’s final album, Good Karma, was released in 2006, but a supporting tour was canceled due to Fredriksson’s deteriorating health.