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Fredriksson at the 1987 Rock Runt Riket Swedish concert tour
|Birth name||Gun-Marie Fredriksson|
30 May 1958|
|Genres||Pop, pop rock, rock, dance|
Gun-Marie Fredriksson, known as Marie Fredriksson (help·info) (born 30 May 1958), is a Swedish pop singer-songwriter and pianist, best known for forming one half of the pop rock duo Roxette, which she created together with Per Gessle in 1986. She and Gessle achieved international success from the late 1980s to the early 1990s with a total of six top 10 US hit songs such as "It Must Have Been Love", "Listen to Your Heart", "The Look", "Joyride", and "Dangerous". In 2002, after fainting at home, she was diagnosed with brain cancer. During her rehabilitation she continued to make music, resulting in the album The Change. She later reunited with Gessle to record more Roxette albums, embarked on worldwide tour and continued to record as a solo artist in her native Sweden.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Going solo: Het Vind (Hot Wind) and Den Sjunde Vågen (The Seventh Wave)
- 3 Start of Roxette and Efter stormen
- 4 Roxette's international success
- 5 Further solo albums, marriage and family
- 6 Cancer
- 7 Return to music
- 8 Roxette reunion
- 9 Discography
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 Works cited
- 13 External links
Marie Fredriksson, who was born in Össjö, was the youngest of five children. The family later moved to the small Swedish town of Östra Ljungby. Being poor, both parents were forced to work, often leaving the children on their own. Together with her siblings or neighbourhood children, Fredriksson began to play music and sing. She was often asked by her mother to perform in front of friends who were impressed by her Olivia Newton-John-like singing voice.
Marie's interest grew stronger in her teens as she discovered artists such as Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, and Deep Purple. At 17, Fredriksson enrolled in a music college and performed in local theatre. However, she found it boring, instead longing for the thrill of an audience. As she phrased it, "I wanted to perform. I'm a performer." She became involved in theatre, and after moving to the town of Halmstad, she found herself involved in the local music scene. Joining her boyfriend Stefan's band Strul, they played local gigs and recorded a single. After that group split, Marie and a new boyfriend, Martin Sternhuvsvud, performed as MaMas Barn. They recorded one album together. Per Gessle, the then lead singer of the famous Swedish group Gyllene Tider, shared a rehearsal studio with Fredriksson, and they became friends. Gessle, however, believed Fredriksson was too talented to be hiding behind keyboards in local pub bands and got her an audition with his producer, Lasse Lindbom, who was well known in Sweden. Lindbom was impressed with Fredriksson's voice and offered her a contract.
Going solo: Het Vind (Hot Wind) and Den Sjunde Vågen (The Seventh Wave)
Lasse Lindbom asked Fredriksson to record a duet with him, "Så nära nu", which led to her joining his group "The Lasse Lindbom Band". Gessle started to encourage her to start a solo career, but she was too nervous and lacked confidence. Fredriksson finally accepted, and she recorded her first solo album, Het vind, produced by Lindbom. "Ännu doftar kärlek" was the first single.
Lindbom, Fredriksson, Per Gessle and Mats "MP" Persson started a new band called "Spännande Ostar" ("Exciting Cheeses"). That same year, Fredriksson and Lindbom went to the Canary Islands to write songs for Marie's second solo album. They returned to Sweden for the recording. The album was released in 1986, under the name Den sjunde vågen. "Den bästa dagen" and "Silver i din hand" were released as singles, and she toured as a solo artist.
Start of Roxette and Efter stormen
Gessle and Fredriksson had talked about working together for many years. Fredriksson had done backing vocal work for Gessle's band Gyllene Tider, and they had worked together on Spännande Ostar and other projects, including an attempt by Gyllene Tider to release an English language album in America. Fredriksson's career was soaring in Sweden, but Gessle was a former boyband member whose solo career was not doing as well. Friends and people in the industry were skeptical towards the idea of Marie collaborating with Gessle. His idea was to form a duo, singing in English, and try to have some success in Europe. However, during the 1980s, it was uncommon for Swedish artists to perform in English.
In 1986, she decided to team up with Gessle under the name Roxette – the name Gyllene Tider had used when they tried to release their album The Heartland Café in the US. Their first single "Neverending Love" was a hit in Sweden, and Roxette's album Pearls of Passion breathed new life into Per's flagging career, and cemented Marie as a major artist. After the 1987 "Rock Runt Riket" Swedish concert tour with Roxette, she recorded her third solo album Efter stormen. In February 1989, she recorded a song for a TV Series called Sparvöga. Her song, the title theme of the show, became one of her most beloved and best known songs. Fredriksson was now one of the most well known singers in Sweden.
Roxette's international success
In 1988, Roxette went back to the studio and recorded a second album, Look Sharp! which once again returned them to the charts in Sweden. However, Roxette then had an unexpected number one hit in the USA with "The Look" in April 1989. Almost overnight, Fredriksson and Gessle were catapulted from being minor celebrities in Sweden to major artists internationally who suddenly found themselves travelling all over the world, selling millions of records, and receiving awards. Look Sharp! was a massive hit, producing two US No. 1 hits including "Listen to Your Heart" in November 1989. A third song from the Look Sharp! album, "Dangerous", spent two weeks at the No. 2 spot in February 1990.
In 1990, Gessle was approached by Touchstone pictures to write a song for the upcoming film Pretty Woman. As he did not have time to create a new song, he re-edited an old Christmas song and gave them "It Must Have Been Love". The song was included in the movie, topped the music charts for 2 weeks in June 1990 in America and became one of Roxette's best selling and most well known songs. In 1991, a third album, Joyride was released which gave them another number one hit in the US in May 1991 while another song, "Fading Like a Flower", reached the No. 2 spot in the US music market in July 1991. They followed it up with a major Join the Joyride world tour in over 100 cities during 1991 and 92. However, after the tour, Roxette's future songs failed to enter the U.S. top 10 list again, whereas in Europe and South America, Roxette continued their international success with Gold and Platinum albums until the beginning of the new millennium.
Further solo albums, marriage and family
In 1992, Fredriksson returned to her solo career, recording the soul searching Den ständiga resan (The Eternal Journey). The album was her musical self-portrait and was written like a diary, containing very personal songs about her life, feelings and relationships. "It mirrors a four to five-year period of my life," said Marie about the album. "It was a crisis, with hellish side effects. But I'm glad I went through it."
While touring in Australia in 1992 to promote Joyride, Fredriksson met Mikael Bolyos, a Swedish singer-songwriter, pianist and guitarist. They became engaged; Fredriksson gave birth to a daughter Inez Josefin on 29 April 1993, and married Bolyos in May 1994. In 1996, she recorded a ballad album in Spanish with Roxette and a new solo album I en tid som vår (In a Time Like Ours). Her second child Oscar Mikael, was born on 26 November 1996.
In 1998 and 1999, Fredriksson worked with Gessle on the new Roxette album Have A Nice Day. In 2000 Fredriksson released a greatest hits album under the title Äntligen – Marie Fredrikssons bästa 1984–2000, followed by a summer tour, later released as a live CD/DVD package called Äntligen – Sommarturné, which has sold more than 350,000 albums; two more singles were released from the album, "Äntligen" and "Det som var nu". She released all her albums in a box set, Kärlekens Guld (Love's Gold), which featured previously unreleased songs as well as new packaging.
On 11 September 2002, Fredriksson complained of feeling unwell after jogging with her husband. She collapsed in a bathroom after becoming nauseous, with the impact of the fall fracturing her cranium. She then had an epileptic seizure. Scans later indicated that she had a brain tumor in the back of her head. The diagnosis led to the cancellation of Roxette's planned performance at the 2002 Night of the Proms concert series. After waiting several weeks for the fracture and resulting concussion to subside, she underwent successful surgery to remove the tumor. It proved to be malignant, and she endured months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
In January 2003, King of Sweden Carl Gustaf XVI awarded Roxette the 'Royal Medal with Blue Ribbon' award. Both Gessle and Fredriksson attended the ceremony, which was the first event Fredriksson appeared after her operation, and one of the very few public appearances she made over the next two years. Lasting effects of the tumour include her being permanently blinded in her right eye, as well as being unable to read or write. She was also unable to speak for a considerable period of time. On 21 October 2005, Fredriksson conducted an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, where she said: "It's been three very difficult years, [but] I'm healthy. I'm not receiving treatment any more." In 2016, Roxette announced that their planned 30th anniversary tour had been cancelled, on the advice of Fredriksson's doctors.
Return to music
About six months after Fredriksson's cancer diagnosis, she and her husband Mikael Bolyos began to work on her first ever English solo album. She called the album The Change; it entered the Swedish chart at No. 1. The first single, "2nd Chance", entered the Swedish singles chart at No. 1. Soon after its release, The Change achieved gold status (20,000 copies sold) in Sweden, according to IFPI.
In conjunction with the release of The Change, Fredriksson started a new publishing company together with Bolyos. MaryJane Music was mainly created "as a home for Marie's solo albums", stated the label's website, "but as the musical collaboration between Marie and Mikael continues and expands, don't be surprised if you find other exciting projects with some of their musical friends released on this label."
During her illness, Fredriksson rediscovered her love of drawing. Although she had lost her abilities to read or to write during her illness, drawing was one thing she still remained able to do, and she found a real passion for it. She had always been very private about her artwork, but for the first time she exhibited a collection of her drawings in a gallery show titled "After the Change". The vernissage at the Doktor Glas gallery in Kungsträdgården featured 24 of her charcoal drawings and ran from 21–30 October 2005. Later she released a book, After the Change, which featured reprints of all 24 sketches.
In 2006, Fredriksson returned with a new CD of Swedish cover songs called Min bäste vän (My Best Friend) in February. The first single released from this cover album was the song "Sommaräng", which Swedish artist John Holm had originated. "Ingen kommer undan politiken" was the second single outtake off the album later that year, but only as a promotional CD.
On 23 October 2009, Fredriksson performed with Gessle as Roxette at the Night of the Proms. This was only the second Roxette performance since the cancer treatment. The first one took place on 6 May 2009 in the Melkweg in Amsterdam during Gessle's European tour. In 2010 Roxette returned with a mini euro tour. After the successful concerts, the band announced the first full Roxette World tour in 15 years which began in March 2011. A new Roxette single "She's Got Nothing On (But The Radio)" was released in January 2011, and the new Roxette album Charm School was released on 11 February 2011. Because of the worldwide success (excluding North America) of Charm School, Roxette continued their World Tour throughout 2012. In March 2012, Roxette's new album Travelling was released coinciding with the new music video and single, "It's Possible". In 2013 she released another solo album, Nu (Now), which was supported by a tour along various Swedish theatres and concert halls.
Roxette went on what was to be their last World Tour in 2015, celebrating their 30th Anniversary (formed in 1986). In April 2016 the tour was cancelled due to concerns about Fredriksson's health. The 10th Roxette studio album was released in June 2016 with the first single of the record released in April.
- Het vind (1984)
- Den sjunde vågen (1986)
- Efter stormen (1987)
- Den ständiga resan (1992)
- I en tid som vår (1996)
- The Change (2004)
- Min bäste vän (2006)
- Nu! (2013)
- Lundgren & Wikström 1992, p. 32
- Roxette - The Book by Larz Lundgren, p. 51.
- The Making of Joyride Documentary, 1991.
- Roxette – The Book by Larz Lundgren, p. 134.
- "Roxette | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- Den Ständiga Resan documentary, directed by Jonas Åkerlund
- Biography on official website
- The Daily Roxette Archived 14 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine., 16 April 2001
- "Aftonbladet nöje: Äntligen är Marie på väg igen". .aftonbladet.se. 7 July 2000. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- Karin Thunberg. "Marie Fredriksson: "No faffing around"". Västerviks-Tidningen. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- "Marie har en hjärntumör | Nöjesliv". Aftonbladet. 16 September 2002. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Cancern slog ut synen | Nöjesliv". Aftonbladet. 24 November 2004. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Sydsvenska Dagbladet. "Jag har haft en jäkla tur som klarat det"". Sydsvenskan. Archived from the original on 25 December 2010. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Roxette fick pris av kungen | Nöjesliv | Aftonbladet". Aftonbladet. 31 January 2003. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Roxette cancel European leg of tour including London show on doctor's advice". London Evening Standard. 19 April 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
- "IFPI Sweden". IFPI Sweden. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
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