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Marie Fredriksson, Singer of Roxette, Dies at 61

Marie Fredriksson, singer of Swedish 80s pop duo, Roxette, died on Dec. 9. She was 61.

Fredriksson died after a long battle with brain cancer for which she received aggressive treatment after being diagnosed in 2002, her management team said in a statement.

“It is with great sadness we have to announce that Marie Fredriksson of Roxette has passed away in the morning of December 9, following a 17-year long battle with cancer,” read a release from Dimberg Jernberg Management, who described Fredriksson as “one of Sweden’s most loved and successful artists.”

Roxette, which featured guitarist and singer Per Gessle, was an immensely successful group that notched several hits including the No. 1 1989 smash “The Look” and “It Must Have Been Love.” The latter was used in the movie “Pretty Woman.”

Fredriksson was born May 30, 1958 in Sweden and had her first big solo musical break in 1984. She teamed with Gessle in 1986 to form Roxette, and the group’s debut single “Neverending Love,” followed by the 1986 album “Pearls of Passion, made them stars in Sweden. But their international breakthrough came with singles including “Listen to Your Heart,” “Joyride,” “Dressed for Success” and “Sleeping in My Car.” Throughout their career, Roxette sold 80 million albums.

In 2002, Fredriksson was diagnosed with a sever brain tumor. She successfully received treatment, but took a performing hiatus until 2009. The duo embarked on a comeback tour until Fredriksson’s doctor advised her to stop performing live in 2016 to focus on her health.

Jonas Siljemark, president of Warner Music Nordics, Jonas Siljemark, expressed his sympathies, saying, “We’re deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Marie Frederiksson. She was an amazing artist who touched the lives of people around the world and leaves behind an incredible musical legacy.  Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this sad time.”

Her former groupmate 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. 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.”

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