Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson died on Tuesday following a long battle with cancer, her manager said. Fredriksson, who found global success in the 1990s in the Swedish duo Roxette with hits like "Listen to Your Heart," "The Look," "Joyride" and "It Must Have Been Love," was 61.
"It is with great sadness we have to announce that Marie Fredriksson of Roxette has passed away in the morning of December 9, following a 17-year long battle with cancer," a statement from Fredriksson's management company, Dimberg Jernberg, read.
"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," said Fredriksson's Roxette bandmate Per Gessle via the management company.
"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."
Gessle also shared a similar tribute to Fredriksson on social media. "Time goes by so quickly. It’s not that long ago we spent days+nights in my tiny apartment sharing impossible dreams," she wrote on Twitter. "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."
Dimberg Jimberg's statement said that Fredriksson "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."
Fredriksson was first diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002, and underwent successful surgery to remove it. However, the illness precipitated a hiatus for Roxette for the first time in their steady, seven-album career between 1986 and 2001. Over the next several years, Fredriksson would record and release solo music before reuniting with Gessle in 2009.
Roxette released their eighth album in 2010 and embarked on world tours, releasing two more albums before Fredriksson's health forced her to retire from touring in 2016.
In April 2016, Fredriksson announced that she had been advised by her doctors to stop touring. "It's been an amazing 30 years! I feel nothing but joy and happiness when I look back on the Roxette world tours. All our shows and memories over the years will forever be a big part of my life," she said at the time. "I'm particularly proud and grateful for coming back in 2009 after my severe illness and to have been able to take Roxette around the globe a couple of more times. Sadly, now my touring days are over and I want to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful fans that has followed us on our long and winding journey."
Fredriksson is survived by her husband, Mikael Bolyos, and their two children, Josefin and Oscar.
Photo credit: Jordi Vidal / Contributor / Getty