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Gessle recorded a second Swedish-language solo album, released in 1985 and again featuring Fredriksson on background vocals, and Fredriksson recorded a second solo album and received the 1986 Rockbjörnen award as Best Swedish Female Artist. Upon the advice of their mutual record company, the Swedish subsidiary of the EMI Group, Gessle and Fredriksson joined to record an English-language single. "Neverending Love", credited to Roxette, was released in late 1986 and reached the Swedish Top 10.

In 1987 Fredriksson released and publicised her third solo album and won the 1988 Swedish Grammis Award as Best Female Pop/Rock Artist and two Rockbjörnen awards for Best Swedish Album and Best Swedish Female Artist. Meanwhile Roxette released the single 'I Want You' in collaboration with Eva Dahlgren and Ratata. Later in the year they released 'It Must Have Been Love (Christmas For the Broken Hearted)', a holiday themed song that received some attention and kept Roxette's name alive on European radio as Gessle and Fredriksson prepared their next album. Gessle has said the single was Roxette's first earnest endeavour to reach beyond Sweden towards European markets such as Germany, though EMI Germany decided against releasing the single.

In short order, in early 1989, EMI issued "The Look" to American record stores and radio stations and pressed copies of Look Sharp!. "The Look" reached No. 1 on the April 8, 1989, Billboard Hot 100, where it remained for one week. At the end of the year, Billboard named "The Look" one of the 20 biggest Hot 100 singles of the year. The breakthrough of Roxette was international when "The Look" also successfully topped the charts in further big markets such as Germany, Australia and Japan.

Also that year, Roxette received their third ECHO Award nomination for the International Group of the Year.

In 2000, Fredriksson released her own greatest-hits compilation of her Swedish-language material, titled after one of her songs, "Äntligen" ("At Last"). The album went on to be a big seller in Sweden, peaking at No. 1 for three weeks, sold respectably abroad, and resulted in a successful tour. Meanwhile, Roxette signed a U.S. distribution deal with Edel Music, which re-released Don't Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!, replacing some non-U.S. hits with songs from Have a Nice Day. It resulted in the most recent chart action for Roxette in US: the single Wish I Could Fly included in the album reached No. 27 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and No. 40 on the Adult Top 40 tally.

In 2004, Gessle and Gyllene Tider reunited for a 25th-anniversary celebration that included the band's first album in 20 years, Finn 5 fel!, and another wildly successful tour in Sweden. By the end of the tour, the band had played to almost half a million (492,252) fans, resulting in the second biggest tour in Europe that year. As a result, the group was honored with two Grammis awards, for Best Pop Group and Best Music DVD, and two Rockbjörnen awards, for Best Swedish Group and Best Swedish Album.Cover of Marie Fredriksson's album The Change, released in 2004


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