Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson dies aged 61

10 December 2019, 15:09 | Updated: 10 December 2019, 16:10

Swedish music star Marie Fredriksson has died aged 61
Swedish music star Marie Fredriksson has died aged 61. Picture: Twitter / PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Marie Fredriksson of the Swedish pop-rock duo Roxette has died aged 61 following a long battle with cancer.

The singer-songwriter - best known for hits including It Must Have Been Love, Listen To Your Heart and Joyride - died on Monday morning after a 17-year fight with the disease.

Her bandmate and friend Per Gessle called her an "outstanding musician" who was "an amazing performer."

The musician's death was made public in a press release by the band's management company Dimberg Jernberg Management.

Co-star Per Gessle said in a statement: "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. P."

Fredriksson was given the devastating news that she had been diagnosed with a severe brain tumour in 2002.

Roxette songs included Joyride and It Must Have Been Love
Roxette songs included Joyride and It Must Have Been Love. Picture: PA

The singer received "an aggressive treatment that took its toll but ultimately was successful," her management confirmed.

"Thanks to her extremely strong fighting spirit, Marie by 2009 was able to start a gradual return to the world's stages," they said.

"The unlikely second coming of Roxette resulted in several new albums, and tours that again put the duo in front of screaming, smiling and crying crowds all over the world.

"During the comeback years Marie was an amazing trooper, overcoming the many rigours of touring in order to meet her fans on stage again and again.

"But by 2016, the show was finally over when Marie's doctors advised her to stop touring and focus on her health."

The Swedish superstar rose to international prominence after forming the band with Gessle in the late 1980s.

Together, they sold more than 80 million records and won a host of music awards including an MTV Video Music Award and a Brit Award nomination for best international group.

Roxette released 10 studio albums, of which four broke into the UK top 10 charts.

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

Boy George took to social media to share his condolences with her "family, friends and fans."

LBC's Iain Dale, who called the Swedish star one of his "musical heroes," said she had "such a wonderful voice."

"Last saw her at the O2 in July 2015. A true music legend. We'll be paying tribute to her on my LBC show tonight," he told his Twitter followers.

Her fans took to social media to express their sadness at Fredriksson's death.

One wrote: "Rest in peace, Marie Fredriksson. What a sad loss, I grew up listening to Roxette. Thank you for the memories!! Fly high, love. Hope you’re at a better place now."

Another said: "I'm losing the voices of my youth," while a separate Twitter user vented their anger, saying: "Marie Fredriksson died of CANCER. I hate cancer!! I hate you so much."

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