Roxette was a Swedish pop rock duo, consisting of Marie Fredriksson (vocals and keyboards) and Per Gessle (vocals and guitar). Formed in 1986, the duo became an international act in the late 1980s, when they released their breakthrough second album Look Sharp! Their third album Joyride, which was released in 1991, became just as successful as its predecessor. Roxette went on to achieve nineteen UK Top 40 hits and several US Hot 100 hits, including four US number-ones with “The Look”, “Listen to Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love”, featured on the soundtrack of Pretty Woman, and “Joyride”. Their other hits include “Dressed for Success”, “Dangerous”, and “Fading Like a Flower”.
Before coming together to form the duo, Fredriksson and Gessle were already established artists in Sweden, she having released a number of solo albums and he being the lead singer and songwriter of Gyllene Tider, a band that had three No. 1 albums. On the advice of the managing director of their record label, the two came together to record “Neverending Love”, which became a hit single in Sweden.
After the release of Don’t Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!, a greatest hits record, the duo took a hiatus before returning with the albums Have a Nice Day (1999) and Room Service (2001). They continued to chart in other territories, mainly in Europe and Latin America, where they earned various Gold and Platinum awards until the beginning of the new millennium. In 2002, the duo took a break from recording and touring when Fredriksson was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Gessle went on to release solo albums and reunited with Gyllene Tider before Roxette took to the stage together again for the first time in eight years, in 2009, during Gessle’s European Party Crasher tour. In 2011, they released Charm School, their first studio album in ten years, which was followed by Travelling in 2012. Their final studio album, Good Karma, was released in 2016. Marie Fredriksson died on 9 December 2019, at the age of 61, following a long battle with a brain tumour, and the group were disbanded shortly after Fredriksson’s death.
Their songs “It Must Have Been Love” and “Listen to Your Heart” continue to receive wide radio airplay, with both singles receiving awards from BMI in 2014 for achieving five million radio plays. They have sold an estimated 75 million records worldwide, with over 10 million in certified units from Germany, the US and the UK, achieving gold and platinum certifications for Joyride and Look Sharp! in all three regions. They are Sweden’s second-best-selling music act after ABBA.