Marie Fredriksson, part of the Swedish pop/rock duo Roxette, has passed away from cancer at the age of 61. Fredriksson and her band mate Per Gessle found massive success in 1990 with their hit It Must Have Been Love after it was featured on the Pretty Woman soundtrack.
“It is with great sadness that we have to announce that one of our biggest and most beloved artists is gone,” her family said in a statement to Swedish newspaper Expressen.
According to Page Six, the singer had been battling cancer for 17 years after she was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002. Fredriksson ended up losing her vision in her right eye, and doctors gave her just a 25 percent chance of survival after her diagnosis.
Still, Fredriksson managed to perform until 2016 when she retired due to the effects of her disease.
“It’s been an amazing 30 years! I feel nothing but joy and happiness when I look back on the Roxette world tours. All our shows and memories over the years will forever be a big part of my life,” she said at the time.
She went on to say that she was particularly proud and grateful for her comeback in 2009 after her cancer diagnosis because she was able to take Roxette around the globe a couple more times.
Gessle – Fredriksson’s friend and bandmate for forty years – said that she was the most wonderful friend, and things will never be the same now that she is gone. The duo met in the 1970s when he was the lead singer and songwriter of Gyllen Tider and she was part of the pop group Strul & Ma Mas Barn.
In 1986, Gessle and Fredriksson formed Roxette, and they immediately found success in Scandinavia with their album Pearls of Passion and the single Neverending Love. However, Capitol Records refused to release the album in the United States, but the duo ended up becoming wildly popular with American audiences after a simple twist of fate.
Gutted to hear about the passing of the courageous, kick ass Marie Fredrikkson. When it comes to 90s power ballads, Roxette are royalty – Listen to Your Heart, Fading Like a Flower, The Look, the exquisite It Must Have Been Love. I will listen to her voice for the rest of my days pic.twitter.com/zQCOlLHHSO
— Mark (@mkenn80) December 10, 2019
An American student named Dean Cushman was studying in Sweden in the late 1980s, and he brought home to Minneapolis the Roxette album Look Sharp!, which featured The Look. Cushman took the album to a local radio station and convinced a DJ to play The Look, which ended up being popular with listeners.
Soon, the song spread to different markets across the United States, and The Look ended up being Roxette’s first number one song in America. They proceeded to score three more number one hits, including Joyride, Listen To Your Heart, and It Must Have Been Love.
In a statement through their management company, Gessle said that time goes by so quickly, and it wasn’t long ago that he and Marie Fredriksson were spending their days and nights in his tiny apartment listening to music and sharing impossible dreams.
“And what a dream we eventually got to share,” said Gessle. “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 colors.”