Per Gessle is one of Scandinavia’s most successful artists and songwriters of all time. With a gift for catchy hooks, both musically and lyrically, he has composed chart-topping pop hits for more than three decades.
Starting his career in 1978 as the driving creative force in Swedish 80’s pop phenomenon Gyllene Tider, he eventually found global recognition as a songwriter and artist through his collaboration with singer Marie Fredriksson in Roxette. The duo’s second album “Look Sharp!” was released in October 1988, and included the American Number Ones “The Look” and “Listen To Your Heart” as well as international hits “Dressed For Success” and “Dangerous”.
“Look Sharp!” earned Roxette worldwide acclaim, selling more than 10 million copies and paving the way for a continuous string of hits: “It Must Have Been Love”—the main love theme for Hollywood blockbuster-film “Pretty Woman” starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts—and “Joyride” also reached the #1 position in the USA, the latter helping the album of the same name sell 11+ million copies. Several more songs became major hits; “Fading Like A Flower”, “Spending My Time” and “The Big L”.
Roxette toured extensively all over the world between 1989-95, playing for millions of fans. The tour album “Tourism” was recorded during the Joyride-tour 1991-92, including two of the most popular Roxette songs ever; “How Do You Do!” and “Queen Of Rain”.
“Crash! Boom! Bang!” (1994) saw more chart action from the title track and singles “Sleeping In My Car”, “Fireworks”, “Run To You” and “Vulnerable”, all paving the way for yet another successful world tour.
Having released two more albums—”Have A Nice Day” in 1999 and “Room Service” in 2001—Roxette went into hiatus when Marie Fredriksson was diagnosed with brain tumour in 2002. In a period of Fredriksson’s recovery, the group made a triumphant comeback, releasing three more albums —“Charm School” (2011), “Travelling” (2012), and “Good Karma” (2016)— while returning to the world stages and performing for more than 2,5 million people in over 50 countries. Tragically, Marie Fredriksson passed away in 2019 after her long battle with cancer. She will forever be missed and remembered as one of Sweden’s most beloved and brightest shining stars.
“Thank you, Marie, thanks for everything. You were an outstanding musician, a master of the voice, an amazing performer. Thanks for painting my black and white songs in the most beautiful colours. You were the most wonderful friend for over 40 years. I’m proud, honoured and happy to have been able to share so much of your time, talent, warmth, generosity and sense of humour. All my love goes out to you and your family. Things will never be the same” – Per Gessle, December 2019
Per Gessle is the only Swedish artist/songwriter who has achieved four US #1 songs on the Billboard chart. With more than 80 millions records sold worldwide, Roxette is Sweden’s biggest music export next to ABBA. But what makes Gessle unique is the relentless creativity that has made him so prolific and successful outside Roxette as well.
He has released eleven acclaimed and/or best-selling solo-albums, received numerous awards, while since the mid 90’s keeping Gyllene Tider active with unprecedented success. A GT compilation became Sweden’s best selling album two years in a row (1995-96) ten years after the group’s demise, paving the way for a record-breaking reunion tour that wasn’t eclipsed until the group reunited for a 2004 tour that still holds the Swedish record.
The simple secret? After all these years, and after all this overwhelming success, Per Gessle still thinks writing songs, recording and performing is as fun and challenging as when he once started out.