They said Fredriksson’s funeral would take place “in silence, with only Marie’s closest family present”.

Roxette’s debut single Neverending Love scored success in Sweden in 1986, but they made their mark internationally three years later with the single The Look from their second album Look Sharp!

Fredriksson and Per Gessle, Roxette’s guitarist and co-vocalist, became Abba’s successors as Sweden’s chart-topping international export, notching up four number one singles on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with The Look, Listen to Your Heart, It Must Have Been Love and Joyride.

Roxette’s string of other hits hits include How Do You Do, Spending My Time, Dangerous, Sleeping In My Car, Dressed For Success, and Almost Unreal.

Gessle and Fredriksson first met when their respective groups shared rehearsal space, and both enjoyed sizeable success in Sweden with various projects before they joined forces in 1986 as Roxette and vowed to pursue international success by singing in English.

In 2002 Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumour and underwent surgery and a long chemotherapy regime.

The aggressive treatment took its toll but ultimately was successful, her management agency said. However, she was left blind in one eye, with limited hearing and mobility, and was unable to read or write. She was also unable to speak for a considerable period of time after her treatment. Over the years she was able to make a gradual return to the world stage.

In 2009 she joined Gessle on stage in Amsterdam during his solo show for an impromptu Roxette performance that became a fully-fledged reunion.

They embarked on international tours, including sold-out shows across Australia in 2012 and 2014.

By 2016, Fredriksson’s doctors advised her to stop touring to focus on her health.

Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle perform as Roxette.

Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle perform as Roxette.

Gessle said things would “never be the same” following the death of his good friend of more than 40 years.

“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,” he said.


“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.”

Fredriksson is survived by her husband Mikael Bolyos and two children, Josefin and Osca.

Megan Levy with agencies

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