Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson has died aged 61, her manager has confirmed. The Swedish star achieved global success in the 1990s with hits including The Look, Joyride and It Must Have Been Love.
A statement said the singer had died on Monday, 9 December “following a 17-year long battle with cancer”.
“You were the most wonderful friend for over 40 years,” her bandmate Per Gessle said. “Things will never be the same.”
Hailing from Halmstad, Sweden, the musicians first met in the late 1970s, when Fredriksson was a member of the pop combo Strul & Ma Mas Barn and Gessle played with Gyllene Tider, one of Sweden’s biggest groups.
They teamed up in 1986, becoming huge stars in their homeland with the single Neverending Love, followed by an album, Pearls of Passion.
Despite their popularity in Scandinavia, Capitol Records declined to release their records in the US – and it wasn’t until an American student studying in Sweden brought a copy of their second album home to Minneapolis and persuaded a local radio DJ to play The Look that they achieved international fame.
The Look became the first of four US number ones for the band, while its parent album, Look Sharp!, went platinum.
They achieved their biggest success when their 1987 Christmas single, It Must Have Been Love, was re-written for inclusion on the Pretty Woman soundtrack in 1990. It topped the charts in more than 10 countries, and gave the band their biggest UK hit, reaching number three.
‘Full of fear’
Roxette continued to tour and release albums throughout the 1990s – eventually selling more than 80m record worldwide. Known for breezy pop hits like Dressed For Success and power ballads such as Listen To Your Heart, they cheekily summarised their songwriting philosophy in the title to their 1995 greatest hits album, Don’t Bore Us, Get To The Chorus.
After a brief hiatus, during which Gessle reunited with Gyllene Tider, the duo scored further hit albums with 1999’s Have a Nice Day, and 2001’s Room Service.
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