Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson dies aged 61 after long illness

Marie performing in Glasgow in July 2003 [Photo: Redferns via Getty Images]

Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson has died at the age of 61.

The Swedish popstar, who co-created Roxette with Per Gessle in 1986, died on Monday morning after suffering from a long-term illness.

She was best known for her Roxette hits It Must Have Been Love - featured in the 1990 box office hit Pretty Woman - Joyride, Listen To Your Heart and The Look.

The pop duo were huge in their time, selling more than 75million records around the world and scoring 19 Top 40 hits, which propelled them to the height of fame.

"Marie Fredriksson is most mourned by her husband Mikael Bolyos and their two children," the family wrote in a statement.

"It is with great sadness that we have to announce that one of our biggest and most beloved artists is gone. Marie Fredriksson died on the morning of December 9 in the suites of her previous illness."

They added that their wife and mother will be buried quietly with only the closest family present.

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Her co-star Per also paid tribute to Marie, tweeting: "Time goes by so quickly. It’s not that long ago we spent days+nights in my tiny apartment sharing impossible dreams.

"And what a dream we eventually got to share! I'm honoured to have met your talent+generosity. All my love goes to you+your family. Things will never be the same."

Marie leaves behind her husband Mikael and their two children, 26-year-old daughter Inez Josefin and son Oscar, 23.

She previously battled a brain tumour in 2002, having been diagnosed after fainting at home.

Marie with her Roxette co-star Per Gessle [Photo: WireImage]

Doctors warned that she only had a 20% chance of survival, but she managed to recover after a long and gruelling course of treatment.

Sadly, the band took a 17-year break as Marie dealt with the health problems she developed as a result of radiation damage from her treatment.

She reunited with Roxette and toured in 2011, then performed at the Swedish royal weddings of Princess Victoria in 2010 and Princess Madeleine in 2013.

"She's been amazing. I don't know how many hundreds of concerts we did over the last five years and it was entirely thanks to her energy that it was possible to do," Per said of her in 2018.

"Her doctor said she will never pallet that, but she [put up with] it - for several years."

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While the pair sold 75million records worldwide at the height of their fame, behind the scenes there was tension between them.

Marie herself admitted she'd made a mistake by snubbing Per and his wife Asa Nordin from her wedding to Mikael Bolyos in May 1994.

She wed keyboardist Micke, who she'd met on the Australian leg of the band's Join The Joyride! tour in 1991, in a small private ceremony surrounded by their closest family members.

Marie was forced to give up her beloved music in 2016 [Photo: WireImage]

But Per couldn't get over the hurt, and her snub took its toll on their professional relationship.

"Some of our friends felt excluded and disappointed [from the wedding]," Marie said in her 2015 autobiography The Love Of Life.

"Today I understand that, for example, Per and Asa were hurt [not to be invited]. But then I didn't see it that way. My only concern was that I wanted the wedding to be private. It was what felt important then."

Marie was forced to give up her beloved music in 2016 when doctors told her she would no longer be able to tour or record.

"It's hard work. Marie can no longer tour," her manager Marie Dimberg said at the time.

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In her 2015 autobiography, Marie seemed to have come to terms with her ill health.

"At last, it feels like I have reconciled myself to having a radiation injury to live with. That this is how it turned out," she wrote in The Love Of Life.

"I have lost many years through the disease. And it is also a sadness to age. But every day I think I'm grateful to be sitting here. And that I can still sing."

You can leave your tributes to Marie in the comments below.


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