BiographyMarie Fredriksson (May 30, 1958) is a Swedish pop singer-songwriter and pianist, best known for forming one half of the pop duo Roxette, which she created together with Per Gessle in 1986. She and Per Gessle achieved international success from the late 1980's to the early 1990's 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."
Marie Fredriksson was the youngest member of a family of five children, who was born in Össjö. The family later moved to the small Swedish town of Östra Ljungby. A poor family, both parents were forced to work, often leaving the young Marie alone. It was during this time alone that she developed an interest in performing, standing in front of a mirror pretending to be a star. 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.
Her 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 incredibly boring, instead longing for the thrill of an audience. As she put it - "I wanted to perform. I'm a performer." She became involved in theater, and after moving to the town of Halmstad, she found herself involved in the local music scene. Joining her boyfriend's Stefans band Strul, they played local gigs and even recorded a single. After that group split, Marie and new boyfriend Martin Sternhuvsvud reformed as MaMas Barn. They recorded one album together. Per Gessle, lead singer of the famous Swedish group Gyllene Tider, shared a rehearsal studio with Marie and they became friends. Per believed Fredriksson was far too talented to be hiding behind keyboards in local pub bands, and got her an audition with his producer, Lasse Lindbom who was extremely well known in Sweden. Lasse was suitably impressed with her voice, and offered her a contract.
Going solo: Het vind and Den sjunde vågen
Lasse Lindbom asked Fredriksson to record a duet with him, "Så nära nu," which lead to her joining his group "The Lasse Lindbom Band." Per 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, which was a big radio hit. The album received mixed reviews. One newspaper wrote "Is this the best you can do Marie?" She was crushed, saying the review felt like a "knife in the heart." She went on tour with the Lasse Lindbom Band, as she didn't have enough self-confidence to tour on her own. Lindbom, Fredriksson, Per Gessle and Mats "MP" Persson started a new band called "Spännande Ostar" ("Exciting Cheeses"), which toured for a short time in some clubs. 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 the album was a huge success, and Fredriksson finally found the courage to tour as a solo artist.
Start of Roxette and Efter stormen
For many years Gessle and Fredriksson had talked about working together. 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 - a former boyband member whose solo career was not doing well - was not as successful. Friends and people in the industry warned her against working with Gessle. His idea was to form a duo, singing in English, and try to have some success in Europe. At that time, it was not popular for Swedish artists to perform in English.
In 1986, she teamed 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 album Efter Stormen. Once again, she worked together with Lasse Lindbom, both as a producer and as a songwriter. It was followed by another solo tour.
In February 1989, she also 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 1989, 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 traveling all over the world, selling millions of records, and receiving awards. Look Sharp! was a massive hit, producing two US number one hits including "Listen to Your Heart" in November 1989. A third song from the Look Sharp! album, Dangerous, spent two weeks at the number two spot in February 1990.
In 1990, Gessle was approached by Touchstone pictures to write a song for the upcoming film Pretty Woman. Since 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 on 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 number two 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.
Den ständiga resan (The Eternal Journey)
In 1992 Fredriksson returned to her solo career, recording the soul searching "Den ständiga resan."
Den ständiga resan 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." The song "Ett enda liv" was written about a good friend of hers who committed suicide.
During Roxette's worldwide Joyride tour, Fredriksson met a friend of the band, Mikael Bolyos in Australia. They were engaged within 3 days and Fredriksson became pregnant within a year. During her pregnancy, she performed a small tour around Sweden to support the Den ständiga Resan album, and also a performance with Roxette for MTV Unplugged. She gave birth to their daughter Inez Josefin (known as Josefin) on April 29 1993.
I en tid som vår (In a Time Like Ours)
In 1996, Fredriksson recorded a ballad album in Spanish with Roxette and a new solo album "I en tid som vår" Her second child, Oscar Mikael was born on November 26, 1996.
Äntligen (Finally) - Marie Fredrikssons bästa 1984–2000
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. It was followed by a summer tour, later released as a live CD/DVD package called Äntligen - Sommarturné. The album to date has sold more than 350,000 - two more singles were released from the album, "Äntligen" and "Det som var nu".
Fredriksson released all her albums in a box set, called Kärlekens Guld (Love's Gold). The remastered albums feature previously unreleased songs as well as new packaging.
On September 11, 2002 Fredriksson fainted in her bathroom, hitting her head and receiving a concussion. Scans indicated that Fredriksson had a brain tumor in the back of her head. After waiting several weeks for the concussion to subside, she underwent a successful surgery to remove the tumour. It was malignant and she then endured months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She received some permanent damage to her brain, losing the ability to read and count, the vision in her right eye, and some loss of movement in her right side.
In January 2003, Roxette were awarded the 'Royal Medal with Blue Ribbon' by King of Sweden Carl Gustaf XVI. The ceremony was the first event at which Fredriksson appeared after her operation. This was one of very few public appearances made during her illness. She subsequently withdrew from the public eye for almost two years.
On October 21 2005, Fredriksson stated, "It’s been three very difficult years,” but in an interview with Jens Peterson published in Aftonbladet, Fredriksson says she has won her fight against cancer. “I’m healthy,” she says. “I’m not receiving treatment anymore.” 
Cover of The Change, 2004
About 6 months after Fredriksson's cancer diagnosis, she and her husband Mikael began to work on her first ever English solo album. She called the album The Change.
The album was well received by the Swedish public and entered the Swedish chart at #1 The first single, "2:nd Chance", entered the Swedish singles chart at number 1. Soon after it's 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 her husband Micke Bolyos. MaryJane Music was mainly created "as a home for Marie's solo albums," states 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."
Min bäste vän (My Best Friend)
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" by Swedish artist John Holm. "Ingen kommer undan politiken" was the second single outtake off the album later that year (but only as a promotional CD).
During her illness, Fredriksson rediscovered her love of drawing. Although she could no longer read or write, drawing was one thing she could still 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 entitled "After The Change". The vernissage at the Doktor Glas gallery in Kungsträdgården featured 24 of her charcoal drawings and ran from 21–30 October. Later she released the book After the Change, featuring reprints of all 24 sketches.
2006 to the present
Marie Fredriksson continues to work as a musical artist and as a painter. However, she has not fully recovered from the brain damage caused by the cancer, and it is unlikely she will return full-time to her former stressful life of performing music albums, interviews and public tours. Apart from the occasional interview, appearance or performance, Marie today generally shies away from the public eye. She spends her days drawing, being in the company of her husband, Mikael Bolyos, and spending valuable time with their two children: Inez Josefin (b. 29 April 1993) and Oscar Mikael (b. 26 November 1996).
For Fredriksson's releases with Roxette, see Roxette discography.
* Het vind (1984) SW#20
* Den sjunde vågen (1985) SW#6
* Efter stormen (1987) SW#1
* Den ständiga resan (1992) SW#1 NO#17
* I en tid som vår (1996) SW#2
* Äntligen - Marie Fredrikssons bästa 1984-2000 (2000) SW#1 NO#6
* Kärlekens Guld (6-CD Box) (2002)
* The Change (2004) SW#1
* Min bäste vän (2006) SW#3
* A family affair by Mikael Bolyos featuring Marie Fredriksson & Mats Ronander (2007)
* Tid för tystnad - Marie Fredrikssons ballader (2007) SW#32 AR#16
* "Ännu doftar kärlek" (1984) SW#18
* "Het vind" (1984)
* "Den bästa dagen" (1985)
* "Silver i din hand" (1986)
* "Efter stormen" (1987) SW#7
* "Sparvöga" (1989) SW#6
* "Så länge det lyser mittemot" (1992)
* "Mellan sommar och höst" (1992)
* "Tro" (1996) SW#8
* "I en tid som vår" (1996)
* "Ber bara en gång" (1997)
* "Äntligen" (2000) SW#34
* "Det som var nu" (2000) SW#59
* "2nd Chance" (2004) SW#8
* "All About You" (2004)
* "A Table In The Sun" (2005)
* "Sommaräng" (2006) SW#21
* "Ingen kommer undan politiken" (2006)
* "Ordet är farväl" (2007)
* "Där du andas" (2008) SW#1
* "Where Your Love Lives (2008-2009)(English version for "Där du andas")
User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License and may also be available under the GNU FDL.
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
Marie Fredriksson in the news
|Songs by Marie Fredriksson|