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Marie Fredriksson, singer behind a string of hits for Roxette, dies at 61

Roxette's Per Gessle and Marie Fredriksson in 1992 (Image credit: Ann Clifford/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection - Getty)

Roxette vocalist Marie Fredriksson has died at the age of 61.

The news was confirmed on the Swedish outfit’s Facebook page, which linked to an official statement saying that Fredriksson died on December 9 following a 17-year battle with cancer.

Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2002 and began touring again in 2009. However, after the release of their 10th album, 2016’s Good Karma, she was advised by doctors to quit touring and concentrate on her health.

Roxette guitarist Per Gessle was the first to pay tribute to Fredriksson, saying: “Time goes by so quickly. It’s not that long ago we spent days and nights in my tiny apartment in Halmstad, listening to music we loved, sharing impossible dreams. And what a dream we eventually got to share!

“Thank you, Marie, thanks for everything. You were an outstanding musician, a master of the voice, an amazing performer. Thanks for painting my black and white songs in the most beautiful colours. 

“You were the most wonderful friend for over 40 years. I’m proud, honoured and happy to have been able to share so much of your time, talent, warmth, generosity and sense of humour. All my love goes out to you and your family. Things will never be the same.”

Fredriksson and Gessle formed Roxette in the mid-80s and released their first album Pearls Of Passion in 1986, but it was 1987 single It Must Have Been Love that catapulted them into the spotlight. 

That was followed in 1988 with the Look Sharp! album which spawned the smash hit singles Dressed For Success and Listen To Your Heart.

Roxette would go on to sell more than 80 million albums around the world, with the official statement on Fredriksson’s death concluding: “Marie leaves us a grand musical legacy. 

“Her amazing voice – both strong and sensitive – and her magical live performances will be remembered by all of us who was 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.”

Fredriksson is survived by husband Mikael Bolyos and her two children Josefin and Oscar.

Scott Munro

News editor for Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. He’s been at the news desk since 2014 and when not writing, he can be found watching baseball and visiting whisky distilleries.