One half of the Swedish duo that brought us the hit songs "Listen To Your Heart," "Joyride," and "It Must Have Been Love" has died. Roxette singer Marie Fredriksson passed away Monday at age 61 after what management described as "a 17-year-long battle with cancer." Fredriksson lost the vision in her right eye as a result of a brain tumor discovered in 2002, per the BBC. Despite a 25% chance of survival, per the Guardian, she announced she was healthy in 2005 before returning to touring from 2008 to 2016. In a statement, her family said her death came with a recurrence of "her previous illness." "Things will never be the same," bandmate Per Gessle posted on Twitter. "You were an outstanding musician, a master of the voice, an amazing performer" and "the most wonderful friend for over 40 years," he added in a statement, per the BBC.
Fredriksson, a solo artist, and Gessle, a member of band Gyllene Tider, teamed up in 1986 at the suggestion of a record executive, per the Guardian. But they only became famous in America after a US student studying in Sweden returned home to Minneapolis and convinced a radio DJ to play "The Look." EMI, which "had initially rejected their bid for a contract as unsuitable for the American market ... soon came knocking," reports the Mirror. The band went on to have four US number ones—including "It Must Have Been Love," featured in 1990's Pretty Woman—while selling some 75 million records worldwide. "My life is such a dream / All that I see / The love I had and gave / Makes it hard to say goodbye," Fredriksson sang in the 2018 solo single "Sing Me A Song." She's survived by husband Mikael Bolyos and two children, ages 23 and 26. (Read more obituary stories.)