Marie Fredriksson, the famous Swedish singer of the duo Roxette, passed away at age 61 on Tuesday, December 10. To honor her memory, let’s take a look at some of the group’s most popular songs.
Roxette, formed by Fredriksson and Per Gessle, is considered the second most popular music group from Sweden behind ABBA, and they had their rise to fame back in the ’80s and ‘90s.
Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle of Roxette perform on stage during their concert at Sydney Entertainment Centre on February 16, 2012 | Photo: GettyImages
Although Roxette’s lead singer, Marie Fredriksson, battled several health issues through the past decade, the duo kept releasing music and performing until 2016, when Marie announced her retirement after putting out their last album, “Good Karma.”
Fredriksson’s health started to deteriorate in 2002 when she suffered a seizure, and an MRI scan revealed she had a brain tumor. According to a statement released by her family, she passed away after complications from her “previous illness.”
Marie Fredriksson of the Swedish band Roxette performs live during a concert at the Zitadelle Spandau on June 11, 2011 | Photo: GettyImages
Marie Fredriksson is survived by her husband, Mikael Bolyos, and their two children: Josefin and Oscar Bolyos.
Through their more than three decades of career, Roxette sold over 75 million records worldwide and had four number 1 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100, with six more top 10 hits. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Marie Fredriksson of Roxette performs on stage at the Koenig-Pilsener-Arena on October 19, 2011 | Photo: GettyImages
Written by Roxette’s Per Gessle, the original song was released in December 1987 and was titled “It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)."
Gessle came up with the song after executives at EMI Germany suggested to do a holiday tune to try and get some radio airplay.
However, it was three years later that the song actually took off when it was re-released, without the Christmas references, as part of the soundtrack of the 1990 film “Pretty Woman.”
Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” spent two weeks at the number 1 spot of the Billboard Hot 100.
The song was written by Gessle and released as the fourth single from the group’s second studio album, “Look Sharp!” in 1989.
It became a hit in the United States after an exchange student returned from Sweden and asked a local radio station to play the song.
It was Roxette’s first number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in 25 countries.
"It took eight weeks for “The Look” to become our first #1 on the Hot 100 chart in Billboard. Then the ball was rolling all over the world," Gessle recalled in an interview with Songwriter Universe.
Also written by Gessle, “Joyride” was released as the first single of the group’s third studio album of the same name in 1991.
Gessle once said that a note that his girlfriend turned wife left him on the piano, which read “Hej, din tok, jag älskar dig” (“Hello, you fool, I love you”) inspired the opening line of the song.
The song was one of the duo’s biggest hits. It became their first number one in Sweden, and their fourth and last #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also reached the top in countries like Canada, Australia, Germany, Japan, and Norway.
“Dangerous” was released as the final single for Roxette’s second studio album “Look Sharp!” in 1988
Although the song entered the Billboard’s Top 10, it only reached number 2 spot behind Janet Jackson's "Escapade."
It was the second single from “Joyride,” released in 1991, and although it didn’t have the same success as the previous single, it managed to get into the top ten in several countries.
The song was the highest-peaking single of the duo on the Irish Singles Chart, reaching the number four spot.
Initially, this was the song that EMI executives wanted to make the lead single of “Joyride” in the U.S, but the duo fought hard for the title song and eventually managed to convince the suits.
“Spending My Time” was later released as the fourth single of the album, and it was the first song to miss the Top 30 in the Billboard Charts. However, it reached higher positions in other countries like Canada, Finland, Australia, Belgium, and Sweden.
A Spanish version of the song titled "Un Día Sin Ti" ("A Day Without You") was released as the first single of the duo's Spanish-language album “Baladas en español” in 1996.
This up-tempo pop-rock song was released in 1992 as the single of Roxette's fourth studio album “Tourism.”
It topped the charts in Sweden, Spain, and reached number two in several other countries, losing the spot to Dr. Alban's "It's My Life."
In 2005, the German dance group Cascada released a cover of the song as part of their debut album “Everytime We Touch.”
Roxette’s “Sleeping In My Car” was released in March 1994 as the first single of the group’s fifth studio album, “Crash! Boom! Bang!”
The pop-rock song became the group’s second single to hit number 1 in their native Sweden, staying three weeks on top of the Swedish Singles Chart. In the U.S, it peaked at number 7 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Although it was released as the second single of the album of the same name, the song was a moderate hit only across Europe.
The music video for the song, which shows a continuous shot of Marie Fredriksson on a never-ending staircase, had to be shot twice after the first version turned out to have some problems with the audio sync.
“Almost Unreal” was released in 1993 as the lead single from the soundtrack of the live-action adaption of the video game “Super Mario Bros.”
Although the song was a failure in North America, it reached the top 20 in Scandinavia, Ireland, and the UK.
Gessle originally wrote the song for Disney’s film “Hocus Pocus,” however, the animation studio later decided to use another song for the film, and “Almost Unreal” was transferred to another of their projects.
The duo had to re-record the song to omit the references to “Hocus Pocus.”
Marie Fredriksson was nine months pregnant when she recorded the vocals for the song.