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Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson dies aged 61 after 17-year battle with cancer

Marie Fredriksson

Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson has died aged 61.

The It Must Have Been Love singer’s death was confirmed by the Swedish newspaper Expressen, who published a statement from her family.

The statement read: ‘It is with great sadness that we have to announce that one of our biggest and most beloved artists is gone. ‘Marie Fredriksson passed away in the morning of December 9th due to complications from her illness.’

The singer had previously battled a brain tumour. A statement from Dimberg Jernberg Management later confirmed that Fredriksson passed away on 9 December after a ’17 year-long battle with cancer’.

The agency wrote: ‘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.’ Marie’s Roxette bandmate Per Gessle said: ‘

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.

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.’

In 2002, Marie complained of feeling unwell while jogging with her husband, and later collapsed and suffered a seizure.

The Joyride singer was diagnosed with a brain tumour and was told she had a 25% chance of survival. Fredriksson had surgery to remove the tumour, as well as completing months of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The tumour left Fredriksson blind in one eye and with limited hearing, while she was unable to speak for months after her treatment.

However, in 2005, she said: ‘It’s been three very difficult years, [but] I’m healthy. I’m not receiving treatment any more.’


Marie was best known for forming the duo Roxette alongside Per Gessle in 1986. The pair had huge success in the 80s and 90s, and will be best known for their song It Must Have Been Love, which featured on the Pretty Woman soundtrack.

Roxette also had major success with Joyride, Listen To Your Heart, Fading Like A Flower and The Look. Before Roxette, Marie was a member of punk band Strul, and after Roxanne’s success, she went on to release solo material – including the Swedish number one single in 2008, Där du andas. Her final solo single. called Sing Me a Song, was released in 2018.

Roxette reformed in 2010, embarking on a tour in Europe and going on to release their hit She’s Got Nothing On But The Radio. Their final album Good Karma was released in 2016 and reached number two in the Swedish charts.

It was supposed to be supported by a full 30th anniversary tour; however, Marie announced she would no longer be touring.

In a Facebook post, she explained: ‘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. I’m particularly proud and grateful for coming back in 2009 after my severe illness and to have been able to take Roxette around the globe a couple of more times. ‘Sadly, now my touring days are over and I want to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful fans that has followed us on our long and winding journey.

I look forward to the release of our album Good Karma in June — for me it’s our best album ever!’




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