Swedish pop singer, songwriter, pianist and painter Marie Fredriksson has died aged 61, her manager has confirmed.
The Roxette singer achieved global success in the 1990s with hits like Joyride, The Look and It Must Have Been Love, from the film Pretty Woman.
A statement said Marie Fredriksson had died on December 9 “following a 17-year long battle with cancer”.
Her bandmate Per Gessle said: “You were the most wonderful friend for over 40 years.
“Things will never be the same.”
Marie Fredriksson was first diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002, after collapsing in her kitchen following a workout.
The tumor cost her the vision in her right eye – but after three years of treatment, she returned to public life and toured successfully again with Roxette from 2008 to 2016.
However, the cancer eventually returned.
According to Marie Fredriksson’s family, she had died following a recurrence of “her previous illness” earlier this week.
Per Gessle said in a heartfelt statement: “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.”
Hailing from Halmstad, Sweden, Roxette first met in the late 1970s, when Marie Fredriksson was a member of the pop outfit Strul & Ma Mas Barn and Gessle was playing with Gyllene Tider, one of Sweden’s biggest groups.
They teamed up in 1986, becoming huge stars in their homeland with the single Neverending Love, followed by a hit album, Pearls of Passion.
Despite their popularity in Scandinavia, Capitol Records declined to release their records in the US.
It wasn’t until an American student studying in Sweden brought a copy of their second album home to Minneapolis, and persuaded a local radio DJ to play The Look, that they achieved international fame.
That song became the first of four US number ones for the band, while its parent album, Look Sharp!, went platinum.
They achieved their biggest success when their 1987 Christmas single, It Must Have Been Love, was re-written for inclusion on the Pretty Woman soundtrack in 1990.
Roxette continued to tour and release albums throughout the 1990s – eventually selling more than 80 million records worldwide.