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Marie Fredriksson, who as the singer of Roxette was one of the most recognisable voices in 1980s and 90s pop, has died aged 61 following a long illness. Her family said in a statement to Expressen, a newspaper in her native Sweden: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce that one of our biggest and most beloved artists is gone.”
In September 2002, Fredriksson had a seizure in her bathroom and suffered a cracked skull. A subsequent MRI scan revealed she had a brain tumour, and she was given a 25% chance of survival. She survived, but had health problems as a result of radiation therapy. She was able to perform until 2016, when she announced her retirement due to the effects of her illness.
Her partner in Roxette, Per Gessle, expressed his love for Fredriksson and her family, and said: “Things will never be the same.”
The pair, who first met in the late 1970s, formed in 1986 on the suggestion of a Swedish record executive. Fredriksson had had a moderate solo career, while Gessle had found success with his band Gyllene Tider, who had broken up after renaming themselves Roxette.
The duo had hits in Sweden, but it wasn’t until an American exchange student took their second album back to Minneapolis, and handed it to a radio station, that they became a word-of-mouth success in the US. Beginning with The Look in 1989, they had four US No 1 hits: Listen to Your Heart, Joyride, and – perhaps the best known of all – the power ballad It Must Have Been Love, which also reached No 3 in the UK and was included on the soundtrack to Pretty Woman.
The pair would go on to sell an estimated 75m records worldwide, and record 10 studio albums. Fredriksson also released eight solo albums, three of which topped the Swedish charts – she scored her first chart-topping solo single in 2008 with Där Du Andas. In May 2018, she released a new single, Sing Me a Song, to mark her 60th birthday.
Roxette had a hiatus while Fredriksson was treated for and recovered from her brain tumour, but reformed in 2009 after she went to see Gessle perform a solo show in Holland, and made an impromptu guest appearance. “She had no self confidence, and said she couldn’t sing any more,” Gessle told the Guardian in 2012. “But she staggered up on stage anyway – and the audience just died … people were crying to the left and right. Afterwards she was like a changed person and two weeks later she called me asking if I’d want to write another Roxette album.” They ended up releasing three more, with their final album, Good Karma, released in June 2016.
In a statement, Gessle paid further tribute to Fredriksson following her death: “Time goes by so fast. It feels like just recently when Marie and I were sitting in my little apartment in Halmstad sharing dreams. And what a fantastic dream we got to share! Thank you Marie, thank you for everything. You were a truly unique musician, a singer on a level we will hardly ever experience again. You painted my black and white songs with the most beautiful colours.”
I Wish I could Fly
It Must have been Love
Listen to your Heart
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She was a great singer and they created alot of great songs. I think my favourite album is "Crash Boom Bang", the song "I Love the Sound of Crashing Guitars" is a highlight from that.
I must say i mainly know them from their 80's songs, but seems they adapted well to the 90's.
Got a good sound, And the guitarist really isn't there just for background either, they really make a sound together.
So sad to hear. :(
My favourite Album is Joyride and I truly enjoyed the ride as I was deeply in love at that time. The Album has so many beautiful songs and it's a masterpiece IMO. It's not my usual type of music but it managed to affect me emotionally.
Edit: Fading Like a Flower
I will miss her...
Rest in Peace
What a sad news indeed!
Roxette was ... IS ... my favorite group/duo from my youth.
I've been following them since their Look Sharp album; I have all their albums, I still listen to their songs today; I went to some of their concerts even after Marie returned to the stage after her operation.
I'm really really sad. With Marie leaves a part of my youth.
Thank you Marie for all the songs, for the memories that will always remain in my heart.
Now sing Marie, sing like never before... with the angels. With love, rest in peace.
Things will never be the same!
Damn... That's really sad. I've never been into pop, but I did enjoy her music in my youth nevertheless.
Wouldnt even know who she is if it wasnt for this trailer with the music The Look playing during it, making it so much better, and i LOVE the music https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK5xAtCXVf0 it is a huge, huge, huge sadness to take in to hear of her passing, aswell as her horrific head injury, it is horrible.horrible, horrible, hopefully she rests in well earned peace, god bless her soul.
very sad, she was phenomenal (i mean they both were, really :D)
When I got my first cassette-player, I also received a Roxette - Joyride tape.
Funny how such things stick around in headspace.
Vila i frid Marie ✌💖
Sad to see her go, https://youtu.be/JcxFiVL_A4g
It's funny, I didn't like The Look and didn't understand why it became popular. Then I heard Listen To Your Heart and I was hooked. I loved Marie's voice so much. Every time I got a new Roxette CD, I would scan through the songs, looking for the ones where Marie was the primary singer. Per is obviously a great musician but I just never liked his voice. (Still don't, all of the Roxette songs in my music library feature Marie).
I remember taking a trip to Montreal when I was in high school; the absolute highlight of the trip was finding a Roxette CD that was not available in the US. New Roxette music! It was such a great feeling.
A few of my favorites:
Watercolours in the Rain
Spending My Time
Half a Woman, Half a Shadow
Love is All
Run to You
Queen of Rain
Oh, this is so sad...
Their songs is so inspiring!
Rest In Peace and Thank You!)
Been playing them today in memory (and the nostalgia). RIP Marie,...