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Swedish Jazz Vocalist and Actress Monica Zetterlund Dies

Swedish jazz singer and actress Monica Zetterlund died in her bed Thursday in a fire in her Stockholm apartment at age 67. Police suspect Zetterlund started the fire by smoking in bed.

Zetterlund was born Monica Nilsson on Sept. 20, 1937 in Hagfors, Sweden. She began her career as a singer in her father’s band and, in 1957, sang with Ib Glindeman’s band in Denmark and Arne Domnerus’ band in Stockholm. She also began performing abroad in the late 1950s and made a name for herself with her 1964 recording with Bill Evans, Waltz for Debbie.

Zetterlund also recorded in Sweden with Harry Belafonte in 1966 (Belafonte-En Granslos Kvall Pa Operan) and in the United States with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra in 1977 (It Only Happens Every Time) and bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen in 1998 (This Is All I Ask).

Her career began to wane when she was diagnosed with scoliosis, a disease that twists the spine, making it difficult to move. Towards the end of her career, she needed assistance getting on stage and sang sitting down.

Zetterlund was married three times and is survived by a daughter from her first marriage, actress Eva-Lena Zetterlund, and Zetterlund’s partner, Magnus Roger.

Originally Published