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10 December 2019 16:39

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marie fredriksson

Marie Fredriksson fronted Roxette, who sold over 60m records worldwide (Picture: Redferns) Marie Fredriksson, lead singer of Swedish duo Roxette, has sadly died aged 61. The singer's death was confirmed by Swedish newspaper Expressen, who published a statement from her family, saying: 'It is with great sadness that we have to announce that one of our biggest and most beloved artists is gone.' Her family added that Marie, who was previously diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2002, passed away after complications from her 'previous illness'. Roxette – which consisted of Marie and bandmate Per Gessle – were the second most commercially successful Swedish band after Abba, having sold over 60m records worldwide. Their most recent album Good Karma was released in 2016 – although they were at the height of their fame in the late 80s and 90s with a string of hit singles in the US and UK as well as their native country. Let's take a look back at some of their best-known songs and biggest hits.

marie fredriksson

The Look (1989) The duo's first international hit, this instantly catchy pop-rock track soared all the way to number one in the US, Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany and Switzerland – while peaking at number seven in the UK. Listen To Your Heart (1989) This saw Roxette heading into classic power ballad territory, scoring them another US number one and another top 10 hit in the UK (where it reached number six). It Must Have Been Love (1990) Possibly the band's best-known song, It Must Have Been Love began life as a Christmas single in Sweden in 1987, but it wasn't until 1990 when it featured on the soundtrack of Pretty Woman that it became a smash hit everywhere else, giving them their third US number one and topping the charts in Australia, Canada and Switzerland. It also gave them their biggest UK hit, soaring all the way to number three. Joyride (1991) Roxette's world domination continued in early 1991 with the title track from their third album, which saw them ditching the power ballads (albeit temporarily) for something a whole lot more playful – and scoring their fourth US number one in the process.

It was also popular on this side of the pond, peaking at number four in the UK. Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave) (1991) The second single from Joyride saw them back in familiar pop-rock territory, with a track which scored them their final top 10 hit in the US (it peaked at number two), as well as reaching number 12 here. Advertisement Per Gessle took vocal duties on the verses of this 1992 hit, but Marie's vocals are as distinctive as ever in the chorus of this upbeat anthem which scored them yet another top 20 hit in the UK, peaking at number 13. Almost Unreal (1993) The band's final top 10 hit in the UK came in 1993 with this rock ballad, which once again saw them in movie soundtrack territory, as it featured in that year's big screen adaptation of Super Mario Bros (the one which starred Bob Hoskins as Mario). Sleeping In My Car (1994) The hits kept on coming through the mid-90s, including this one – which topped the charts in their native Sweden and hit number 14 in the UK. Wish I Could Fly (1999) The later part of the decade saw Roxette return to the charts with this little gem of a ballad, taken from their sixth album Have A Nice Day. They narrowly missed out on the top 10 with this one, reaching number 11 in the UK – but it gave them even more chart success on home turf, peaking at number four in Sweden. MORE: Level 42 guitarist Boon Gould dies age 64 Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson – who famously sang the hit power ballad It Must Have Been Love, which featured in the Pretty Woman soundtrack – has sadly died at the age of 61. Confirming the news in a statement, her management revealed that the Swedish musician "passed away in the morning of 9 December, following a 17-year long battle with cancer." Her bandmate, Per Gessle, added: "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!" Marie's bandmate Per Gessle paid a touching tribute to his friend He added: "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." MORE: Holly Willoughby becomes emotional as she talks about relationship with Phillip Schofield amid feud rumours Her management also paid a heartfelt tribute, saying in a statement: "Marie 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 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." Marie was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2002 MORE: Matt Baker reveals real reason behind his decision to quit The One Show Marie was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2002, after collapsing in her kitchen following a workout. The tumour left her blind in one eye, with limited hearing and mobility - but after three years of "aggressive" treatment, she returned to public life and toured successfully again with Roxette from 2008 to 2016. However, the cancer eventually returned – earlier this week, Marie's family said she had died following a recurrence of "her previous illness". The singer's funeral will take place in silence with only her closest family present. Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.