Marie Fredriksson of Roxette dies at 61

Marie Fredriksson / Roxette. Photo by Mattias Edwall

Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson has died aged 61.

With bandmate Per Gessle, she achieved enormous success in the late 1980s and early 1990s as the Swedish duo scored four number one singles in the US charts, including two (‘The Look’ and ‘Listen to Your Heart’) from Roxette’s second album Look Sharp! 

The hits continued well into the late nineties (‘Wish I Could Fly’ was their last top 40 single in the UK in 1999) but sadly Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2002, although she recovered enough to return to touring with Roxette from around 2008 and the band released their last album Good Karma in 2016.

On Doctors advice Marie didn’t tour that record and unfortunately the cancer returned. In a moving statement posted on the Roxette website Per Gessle described Marie as “an outstanding musician, a master of the voice, an amazing performer.”

37 responses to Marie Fredriksson of Roxette dies at 61

  1. Mikko Suhonen says:

    Marie had also a fantastic solo career. If you are not afraid of the Swedish language (and why should you be), give album “Den ständiga resan” a chance. And if you are, she made one solo album in English. “The Change” was made during her convalescence of the brain tumor. A challenging record but worth listening.

  2. mino gagliardi says:

    Per Gessle is Roxette’s mind but Marie was its soul and voice!

  3. ChrisGa says:

    Gutted about this; HUGE Roxette fan, and Marie made every song–whether carrying the whole song, or belting out a killer hook/chorus–that much better. Roxette was my very first concert when they were touring Joyride here in the states back in ’92, and it was an unsurprisingly top shelf affair. Listening to the Rox Box now and sending loving thoughts out to Marie’s family and fellow fans. Rest in peace, icon.

  4. HS says:

    She was one of my all time favorite singers. I always thought she was very underrated, as well as Roxette in general. They had some really good songs.

    I am very thankful we did get several more albums during the last 10 years of her life. The last Roxette album, Good Karma is up there with their best work.

    RIP Queen Marie- things will never be the same.

  5. Daryl says:

    June Afternoon always reminds me of just that – long summer days growing up in the 90’s. And Almost Unreal send shivers up my spine each time I hear the intro.
    This is very sad news indeed.

  6. Martin Odendaal says:

    I’ve followed Marie and Roxette’s career since 1993/1994, and I fell in love with this stunning little white-haired vocalist. Boy – she could sing ANYTHING…from hauntingly beautiful, emotional ballads to rock. She was not only easy on the eye, but she carried her beauty on the inside too, it was so obvious. Today I feel so sad as to why I can’t stop my tears from falling down my cheeks – I guess when you follow someone so long, they become part of your life even though they don’t know you exist. I met Marie on JHB airport in 2012. She was so friendly, signed my cd and posed for a photo. One would hardly say she was a 80 million album selling DIVA. Marie, I can never explain in words what your tremendously perfect emotional voice meant to me, but I’m sure by now you know what you meant to all your fans. This is probably the saddest day of my life. Your voice and music has carried me through issues I couldn’t possibly deal with on my own. Thank you for being YOU, thank you for reaching millions of people around the planet with your voice. I will carry your legacy until my own time has come. You will never be forgotten. RIP and I’m sure we will hear you up in heaven soon enough. Goodbye, farewell and God bless.

  7. Nancy says:

    You’ll never fade like a flower, dear Marie!
    The music you did either with Roxette or solo will continue to live in our minds and hearts.
    Always loved you and always will.
    So glad to have been around the time of your creative peak during the 1980s and the 1990s.
    Lots of love and support to your friends and your family.

  8. Larry Davis says:

    On that sad day yesterday, I listened to some of my fave Marie-dominated Roxette songs, and they instantly became quite poignant, even more beautiful and even heavy on my heart…I almost lost it…one song that hit me like a ton of bricks was “Things Will Never Be The Same” from Joyride…espesh when she sings “losing you…”…instant tearing up…I went even further and finally bought the original best of “Antligen” and will get a taste of her Swedish solo material, which I hear is more artful…I admit I always focused only on Per, viewed Roxette as Per’s group cuz he wrote all the songs…but I want to do a full appreciation of Marie, not just her marvelous voice…still, RIP Marie, heavy on my heart…

  9. Dan Glaser says:

    It must have been love, but it’s over now
    It must have been good, but I lost it somehow

    How poignant and moving at the very same time. OK, ABBA started the Swedish ball rolling in the 70s, but Roxette superbly picked up the baton and ran with it from the mid 80s. They have left us an outstanding legacy of music which is so, so underrated ! Perhaps now people will come to understand what a powerful force in Popular music Roxette were. Condolences to Marie’s family and friends. Her departure has left a gaping hole. I never got to see them live sadly, but have great memories of the joy I had collecting and listening to their amazing music.

  10. Liam.Bastick says:

    I was lucky enough to see her in an Aussie winery not so long ago. Her fantastic voice belied her obvious frailty. I remembered the performance again when I saw voice and mind over matter again with Phil Collins earlier this year. She had a passion for her music. RIP Marie; condolences to her friends and family. It must have been love, but it’s not over now. You will be remembered and live on in your music and the hearts of your many fans.

  11. Mick Lynch says:

    What a voice. Met her in Dublin during the Crash Boom Bang Tour, and she was so lovely. Saw her about 5-6 years ago and she was fine, but on the 2015 tour she had to sit for the complete gig and had two backing singers with her also. She has left a fantastic back catalogue of material for us to enjoy. Spending My Time, Almost Unreal, and Milk and Toast and Honey are just a selection of my favourites.

  12. VANESSA ANN Merriman says:


  13. GentleRabbit says:

    We’ll miss you, Marie. What a strong woman you must have been. They made some truly great pop records together, a big part of my childhood. Abba who?! :)

  14. Tom m hans says:

    The closest we ever got to ABBA tunes not written by Benny and Bjorn…. lovely voice. I always loved Tourism and the semi live version of the It must have been love.
    Turns out it was love.

  15. Gord says:

    Marie Fredriksson was an absolute force of nature and one of the best live performers I’ve ever seen (summer 1992). From punk in the 70’s, via folk and pop to being one half of one of the best pop acts ever. Strikingly elegant and with a voice that could surface any and every emotion on the spectrum whilst always delivering top drawer pop perfection. Her fight back from a brain tumour in 2002 was a profile in courage, dignity and tenacity. Roxette’s last brilliant album in 2016 and last years solo work – all stripped back jazz and lo-fi country-esque balladry – is now a beautiful and sad parting gift from a super talented and much underrated musician. She will be sorely missed. ‘Anyone’ was a song and video so tremendously good it warranted an essay, and some years ago I duly obliged. RiP Marie

  16. Ray says:

    Such sad news, i gasped when i heard : ( been listening to ‘joyride’ my fave Roxette track. My thoughts are with her family. R.I.P. Marie

  17. Mark Walton says:

    Have loved Roxette since the beginning. Have seen them three times since their comeback in 2011 and although by 2015 at the London O2 it was clear Marie was struggling more and more, it didn’t stop her giving her all and putting on a fantastic show, along with Per. Her family must be devastated, but so too must Per. RIP Marie, and thank you for your fantastic legacy.

  18. Captain Chivas says:

    RIP. Great voice & musician. Loved “Fading like a flower” the most. Sad loss before Christmas, when certain things hurt more.

  19. Pingback:Roxette and Marie Fredriksson: Five lesser-known classics to check out – Gusworld Blog

  20. Valentin Gallego says:

    Rest in Peace Marie Fredriksson
    Many thanks for your beautiful music and voice.

  21. Larry Davis says:

    RIP Marie…sad but not surprised with that tumor… amazed she got 17 more years and released 3 more Roxette albums & solo work…since “Good Karma” was from 2016, was hoping perhaps another Roxette album was forthcoming, if not a tour…not to be…still, what a career…Marie was def one of my fave singers…her sublime tone rivalled Karen Carpenter imo…I only got to see & meet Marie once, in 2000, in NYC, but at least I met her…RIP Marie…

  22. Timothy Harrison says:

    Terribly sad news, a genuinely talented vocalist

  23. John Johnstone says:

    How sad. I always liked Roxette from the beginning, but only managed to get to see them live in 2012. However, it was one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve been to (and I’ve been to hundreds – Stones, Floyd, Who, Springsteen etc.) and despite her obvious issues, she gave her all. What a great night! RIP Marie and thanks for the wonderful music …

  24. Steven_Wilsons_Prog_Cat says:

    very sad news indeed, she had an incredible voice

  25. Craig Hedges says:

    It always seems to happen before Christmas, it’s 12 months since we lost Pete Shelley.
    I remember the first time I heard The Look and being really surprised that they were Swedish. Then along came It must have been love and I was thought it was amazing. Marie had an very versatile voice and a lot of people haven’t heard was she was capable of. If you’ve only heard the hits then check out
    Perfect Day
    Beautiful Things
    My World, My Love, My Life
    and the duet she recorded with Frida from Abba, Alla Mina Basta Ar on the 1996 album Djupa
    My thought are with her family and her friend and musical partner Per

  26. Charles K. says:

    Terrible news to read. She had beautiful voice and amazing career, R.I.P. indeed.

  27. Lou says:

    Truly saddened by this. Her voice was unique and so beautiful. I was lucky to see them on their last tour and even thought she was physically frail, she hit the highs and sounded as amazing as ever. R.I.P.

  28. Mark Carter says:

    Really saddened by this. She had the most beautiful of voices. Heartfelt and full of emotion. We have a lasting legacy of fantastic songs. Roxette have never been truly appreciated for the wealth of great music they released. God Bless you Marie x

  29. Kiki_ says:

    Crash! boom! Bang! … so sad news… I remember having cried on songs like “Cry”, “Fading like a flower”, having danced on “Neverending love”, “Dangerous”, “stars”…
    Things will be the same again… Rip Marie…

  30. Ben says:

    The Soundtrack of my youth. Such a loss.
    Rest in Peace, Marie Fredriksson

  31. Shane says:

    Oh no this is so sad. So so sad :( RIP Marie and thank you for the wonderful music. *hearts

  32. william says:

    Was very surprised when I read the news about it this morning. Was just listening to them too. RIP

  33. Matthew Holbrook says:

    Very sad. Roxette songs got me through all my ups and downs in the 90s and beyond.

  34. Robert Laversuch says:

    Huge loss. Unbelievable voice. Fighting that spectre cancer since 2003. Left us far too early. We do have the music, though and that is some legacy. To quote another well-known Swedish act – thank you for the music – that will be forever. R.I.P.

  35. Stephen dC says:

    Just got back from Stockholm and a wonderful record store on Drottninggatan which is an SDE paradise. A great place where commercial Roxette and Abba sit proudly alongside more hip artists (for the want of a better word).

    RIP Marie.

  36. David Neumann says:

    What a loss. I was just thinking about her the other day, hoped that she would get healthy enough so doctors would allow her to tour again.

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