Very sad news reaches us from Sweden. Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson is no more, she has died aged 61 after a 17 year long battle with cancer. The sad news was announced in a statement issued by her family. The singer had previously battled a brain tumour.
Fredriksson was first diagnoised with brain cancer in 2002 when she complained of feeling unwell while jogging with her husband. She later collapsed and suffered a seizure. Diagnosed with a brain tumour with a 25% chance of survival, Fredriksson had surgery to remove the tumour and completed 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. Following her diagnosis and treatment, Fredriksson and her husband Mikael Bolyos began work on her next solo studio album as a form of therapy at their home studio in Djursholm.
Succesful solo artist
Fredriksson had a successful career in her native country prior to forming Roxette. She was a member of punk group Strul, a band which created their own music festival in 1979. Strul’s dissolution led to the creation of her next project, the short-lived MaMas Barn, after which she began releasing solo work. Her first album, “Het vind”, was issued in 1984, followed by “Den sjunde vågen” in 1986 and “Efter stormen” in 1987. Roxette’s international breakthrough coincided with a period of inactivity for Fredriksson as a solo artist, punctuated only by the release of the non-album single “Sparvöga” in 1989. Subsequent solo albums included “Den ständiga resan” (1992) and “I en tid som vår” (1996).
Roxette, a fixed record company marriage
Roxette was a Swedish pop rock duo that also was well received in the electropop scene (the band even made it to number 4 on our charts in 2007 in the section ‘best electropop band ever’). The duo, consisting of Marie Fredriksson (vocals and keyboards) and Per Gessle (vocals and guitar) formed in 1986 and became an international act in the late 1980s, when they released their breakthrough album “Look Sharp!” featuring the absolute dance floor hit “The Look”.
Before coming together to form the duo, Fredriksson and Gessle were already established artists in Sweden, with Fredriksson releasing a number of solo albums and Gessle being the lead singer and songwriter of Gyllene Tider. On the advice of the managing director of their record label, they came together to record “Neverending Love”, which became a hit single in Sweden.
In 2002, the duo took a break from recording and touring when Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Gessle went on to release solo albums and reunited with Gyllene Tider before Roxette took to the stage together again for the first time in 8 years, in 2009, during Gessle’s European Party Crasher tour. In 2011, they released “Charm School”, their first studio album in ten years, which was followed by Travelling in 2012. Their latest studio album, “Good Karma”, was released in 2016. It was supposed to be supported by a full 30th anniversary tour; however, Marie announced she would no longer be touring.