Roxette co-founder Marie Fredriksson has passed away at the age of 61 following a 17-year battle with cancer.
The singer’s death was confirmed on Tuesday evening in a statement released by Dimberg Jernberg Management, which read: “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, who co-founded the Swedish band with Per Gessle in 1986, was first diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in 2002 and underwent aggressive treatment, which allowed her to return to the stage in 2009. However her time as a performer came to an end three years ago when doctors advised Marie to take a step back and stop touring to focus on her health.
Responding to the news, her 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. 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.”
Roxette enjoyed huge success around the world thanks to hits such as ‘It Must Have Been Love’, ‘Listen to your Heart’ and ‘Fading Like a Flower’ and sold a whopping 80 million records throughout their career.
Following the sad news, tributes flooded in for Marie on social media, with the Swedish Embassy in the UK writing: “It must have been love. RIP. Marie Fredriksson is all over the news. Her voice will live on.”
Another said: “So sad to hear of the loss of Marie Fredriksson of Roxette. She was a wonderful singer and I loved listening to their songs.” While a third commented: “An Amazing voice, world’s lost a truely special singer.”
The pop star is survived by husband Mikael Bolyos and their two children, daughter Josefin, 26, and son Oscar, 23. Her funeral will be held privately with only family and friends present.