STOCKHOLM: Singer Marie Fredriksson of Swedish pop duo Roxette died on Monday at the age of 61 after having spent years battling cancer.
Roxette produced several international hits including four U.S. number ones with “It Must Have Been Love”, from the film “Pretty Woman”, “The Look”, “Listen to Your Heart” and “Joyride”.
The mother of two, who died on Monday, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2002 but went into remission and made a musical comeback a few years later. The illness had taken its toll by 2016 and doctors advised her to stop touring.
Fellow band member and guitarist Per Gessle farewelled his long-term friend in a heartfelt statement, saying: “Things will never be the same.
“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,” Gessle said.
“You were the most wonderful friend for over 40 years.”
Roxette was formed in 1986 by Fredriksson and singer and song-writer Per Gessle. The group released its breakthrough album “Look Sharp” two years later.
Announcing her death, Dimberg Jernberg Management described Fredriksson as “a wonderful person with a huge appetite for life”.
“Marie leaves us a grand musical legacy,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
It added that the funeral would take place with only the closest family members present, including her husband Mikael Bolyos and her children Josefin and Oscar. It did not give a date.
Born in the southern Swedish village of Ossjo, Fredriksson kickstarted her career in the nearby city of Halmstad where she met Gessle in the 1980s. The pair formed Roxette in 1986 and went on to sell more than 80 million albums worldwide.