Marie Fredriksson, Roxette Lead Singer, Dies After 19 Year Battle With Cancer

Marie Fredriksson Dead

Getty Fredriksson performs prior to the WBC heavyweight world championship boxing match between Ukrainian heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko and Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis in the western German city of Cologne on March 19, 2011.

Marie Fredriksson, the lead singer of Roxette, has died at the age of 61. Her tragic passing was confirmed in a post on the band’s official Twitter page. Fredriksson passed away on December 9.

Fredriksson died due to complications from the brain tumor that she had been diagnosed in 2002. Fredriksson is survived by her husband, Mikael Bolyos, and their two children, Josefin and Oscar.

Fredriksson was one of the most recognizable voices of pop music in the 1980s with four number one hits in the U.S., including The Look, Listen To Your Heart, Joyride and It Must Have Been Love. The latter appeared on the soundtrack for the 1990 movie, “Pretty Woman.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Fredriksson’s Bandmate, Per Gessle, Paid Tribute Calling Fredriksson ‘An Outstanding Musician’

Roxette – It Must Have Been Love (Official Music Video)Official music video for Roxette – "It Must Have Been Love" from the movie 'Pretty Woman' (1990)2009-03-04T14:16:13.000Z

In a statement on the band’s website, the other member of Roxette, 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 colors. 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 humor. All my love goes out to you and your family. Things will never be the same. P.”


2. Fredriksson Was Diagnosed With a Brain Tumor in 2002 After Falling & Hitting Her Head in Her Bathroom

Roxette – The LookMusic video by Roxette performing The Look.2009-03-04T14:26:03.000Z

In September 2002, Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumor after falling and hitting her head inside of her bathroom.

Fredriksson’s manager said that the singer had hit her head against a sink. Her manager, Marie Dimberg, said at the time, “A number of tests have been made showing that Marie has a small tumor in her in the back of her head. We do not know how serious it is but hope for the best.”


3. Roxette Announced Their Retirement From Touring in 2016

Roxette Dies

GettyFredriksson performs on stage at Palacio de Vistalegre on November 18, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.

Roxette announced in a statement on their Facebook page in 2016 that they had retired from touring due to Fredriksson’s ill-health. The band’s final concert was at the Grand Arena in Cape Town, South Africa, on February 8, 2016. The group had planned to tour in support of the band’s 30th anniversary during the summer of 2016.

The band’s statement said in part, “It’s been an amazing 30 years! The joyride on the road is now over — but we sure had fun, didn’t we?” Roxette’s album, “Good Karma,” was release on June 3.

Roxette (Per Gessle & Marie Fredriksson) – It Must Have Been Love @ Melkweg Amsterdam 06-05-09During his Party Crasher tour, Per performs It Must Have Been Love & The Look together with Marie live at Melkweg, Amsterdam (06-05-09).2009-05-07T00:20:36.000Z

Following her 2002 diagnosis, Fredriksson didn’t appear on stage with Gessle until 2009, surprising the crowd during one of his solo shows. Following a 2012 gig in Los Angeles, Fredriksson told CBS News that she had defeated cancer saying, “Thank God it’s over. … It was very, very tough. But I’m here. I’m not dead. When I was very, very ill, we were very afraid.” While Gessle was quoted as saying, “It’s a miracle that she survived, and it’s an even bigger miracle that she’s still here, touring, 19 months. Even her doctor said it wasn’t possible. But she’s doing it, and it’s just fantastic.”


4. Fredriksson Sued a Swedish Newspaper in 2003 After it Alleged She Had Been Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Marie Fredriksson Cancer

GettyFredriksson arrives at the 50th Anniversary of Bravo Magazine at the Color Line Arena on October 21, 2006 in Hamburg, Germany.

In 2003, after the Swedish newspaper Expressen published a story that alleged Fredriksson had been diagnosed with breast cancer, the singer successfully sued the outlet. Fredriksson gave the proceeds to a cancer charity. In a blog post on the band’s website, Fredriksson said that one of her hobbies, while she battled her disease, was drawing. In 2005, Fredriksson held an exhibition of her charcoal drawings in a gallery in Stockholm.

Those drawings depicted people with different faces but with the same eyes and ears, this was a reference to the problems that Fredriksson had suffered due to her cancer diagnosis. Since being diagnosed, Fredriksson suffered partial blindness and deafness in her right eye and ear.


5. Fredriksson Is Being Celebrated as a Musical Icon by Her Fans on Social Media

Marie Fredriksson Cause of Death

As news of Fredriksson’s death spreads, her fans have taken to social media to mourn the passing of a musical icon. Here are some of the most poignant messages of remembrance:

READ NEXT: Teenage Porn Star Controversy Rocks California High School