Roxette Singer, Marie Fredriksson, Dies At 61

Marie Fredriksson of Roxette performs on stage at Palacio de Vistalegre on November 18, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.
Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images

This morning, breaking news hit that the lead singer of Swedish duo Roxette, Marie Fredriksson, has died at the age of 61.

The “It Must Have Been Love” hitmaker passed away on the morning of December 9, following a 17-year-long battle with cancer, per Mailchi.mp.

Fredriksson was diagnosed with a severe brain tumor in 2002. After successful treatment and a long break from music, she returned to the world of touring and released new studio albums with her band. However, in 2016, her doctors advised her to stop touring and focus on her health.

Her band mate, Per Gessle, thanked Marie for their 40-year friendship.

“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, honored 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,” he said.

Fans instantly took to social media to express their sadness over the news.

“This is so sad but thanks for your beautiful work, Marie! Always in my heart. #RipMarie,” one user wrote.

“Gone too soon. R.I.P Marie Fredriksson,” another shared.

On the band’s official Instagram account, they shared a simple black background with gold text.

“Marie Fredriksson 1958 – 2019,” the message read.

In the span of one hour, the post racked up more than 12,500 likes and over 5,400 comments, proving to have made an impact on their followers.

Fredriksson was born in the south of Sweden and became friends with future Roxette companion Gessle when she started her musical career in nearby Halmstad. She released her first solo album in 1984 and became one of her home country’s most loved and successful artists. She decided to team up with Per two years later as they both had a goal to make it big outside of Sweden. A couple of years later, their dream would become true.

The group first rose to fame in the late 1980s and became a household name. According to Billboard, they had huge success on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, achieving four No. 1 hits — “The Look,” “Listen to Your Heart,” “Joyride,” and “It Must Have Been Love” taken from the Pretty Woman soundtrack.

According to Universal Music Publishing Group, they achieved 33 chart-busting singles and sold over 75 million records worldwide, making them Sweden’s biggest music export next to ABBA.