Marie Fredriksson of Swedish pop duo Roxette dies at 61

Marie Fredriksson of Swedish band Roxette performing during a concert in Oberursel near Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, in 2011. (AFP)
Updated 10 December 2019

Marie Fredriksson of Swedish pop duo Roxette dies at 61

  • Per Gessle: You were an outstanding musician, a master of the voice, an amazing performer
  • Fredriksson formed Roxette with Per Gessle in 1986, and in 1989, the pair had their international breakthrough with The Look

STOCKHOLM: Marie Fredriksson, the female half of the Swedish pop duo Roxette, has died at age 61, her management agency said Tuesday.
Fredriksson formed Roxette with Per Gessle in 1986. The two released their first album the same year and went on to achieve international success in the late 1980s and 1990s with hits including “The Look” and “It Must Have Been Love.”
The Dimberg Jernberg agency said Fredriksson died Monday “of the consequences of a long illness.”
It “is with great sorrow that we must inform you that one of greatest and most-loved artists is gone,” the firm said.
On his Facebook profile, Gessle wrote: “You were an outstanding musician, a master of the voice, an amazing performer.”
“I’m proud, honored and happy to have been able to share so much of your time, talent, warmth, generosity and your sense of humor,” he wrote in English, adding “Things will never be the same.”
Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002. She underwent aggressive treatment that took its toll but ultimately was successful, her management agency said. However, she was left blind in one eye, with limited hearing and mobility, and was unable to read or write. She was also unable to speak for a considerable period of time after her treatment. Over the years she was able to make a gradual return to the world stage
Fredriksson was born in southern Sweden on May 30, 1958, and had her artistic breakthrough in 1984 in Sweden. Two years later, she formed the duo Roxette with Gessle, and in 1989, the pair had their international breakthrough with “The Look.”
They achieved international success with their albums “Look Sharp!” in 1988 and “Joyride” in 1991, and had six top two hits on the Billboard Hot 100. The pair sold 80 million records worldwide and embarked on world tours.
They were Sweden’s best-known band since ABBA in the 1970s and 1980s, and in 2003, Sweden’s Carl Gustaf XVI awarded the duo a royal award. Fredriksson made her first public appearance after her brain tumor operation to receive the honor with Gessle.
Fredriksson is survived by her husband, Mikael Bolyos, and their two children, Josefin and Oscar.


In historic first, ‘Parasite’ sweeps Academy Awards with Best Picture win

In a historic first, South Korea’s ‘Parasite’ has won the Oscar for Best Picture. (AFP)
Updated 10 February 2020

In historic first, ‘Parasite’ sweeps Academy Awards with Best Picture win

DUBAI: In a historic first, South Korea’s ‘Parasite’ has won the Oscar for Best Picture, marking the first time a non-English language film has taken home the top prize at the Academy Awards. 

Earlier in the evening, British Oscar-winner Olivia Colman took to the stage to announce that Joaquin Pheonix won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Academy Awards for his role in "Joker" while Renée Zellweger won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the for her portrayal of singing icon Judy Garland.

Meanwhile,  Brad Pitt and Laura Dern won their first acting Oscars on Sunday, and “Parasite” also nabbed the Best International Feature Film award and its director Bong Joon Ho won the Oscar for Best Directing.

“Parasite” nabbed the Best International Feature Film award.

Dern took home the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as a ruthless divorce lawyer in “Marriage Story,” and dedicated it to her celebrity parents Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern.

“This is the best birthday present ever,” said Dern, who will turn 53 on Monday.

Pitt was named best supporting actor for playing a charming stunt double in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” after having collected an armful of trophies earlier this year for the role. It was his first acting Oscar.

“I’m a bit gobsmacked to tell you the truth,” said Pitt, who recalled his early days starting out as an unknown actor.

Brad Pitt won his first acting Oscar on Sunday. (AFP)

“‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ - ain’t that the truth?,” he said, dedicating the Academy Award to his six children with former wife Angelina Jolie.

“Parasite” got off to strong start by winning the original screenplay Oscar.

The social satire about the wealth gap in South Korea also nabbed Best International Feature Film award and won its director the Best Director.  

“American Factory,” about the decline of jobs in the industrial Midwest from former U.S. President Barack and first lady Michelle Obama’s new production company, won for best documentary.

Nazi satire “Jojo Rabbit” brought a best adapted screenplay Oscar for director, star and writer Taika Waititi.

Former hosts Steve Martin and Chris Rock delivered a string of barbed jokes about the lack of female directors and people of color among this year’s nominees. (AFP)

Despite again having no formal host, the Oscars ceremony started with a surprise appearance by former hosts Steve Martin and Chris Rock, who delivered a string of barbed jokes about the lack of female directors and people of color among this year’s nominees.

“I thought there was something missing this year,” said Martin.

“Vaginas?” quipped Rock, to loud applause.

Rock pointed out Cynthia Erivo, who played slavery-era freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in “Harriet” and who was the only actor of color nominated this year.

US rapper Eminem performed onstage during the 92nd Oscars. (AFP)

“Cynthia did such a great job hiding black people that the academy got her to hide all the black nominees,” said Rock.

In another surprise, rapper Eminem took the Oscars stage to perform “Lose Yourself,” his 2003 Oscar-winning song from the movie “8 Mile.”

The nominees and winners are chosen by the 8,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.