The news media in Sweden has been full of Monica this Friday. She died Thursday evening in a fire in her flat in Stockholm. Everything points to the fire starting as a result of smoking in bed.
She called for help, but the fire brigade arrived to find her dead in her bed.
News report #1
News report #2
She was born in 1937 and had a singing career that started in the late 50s. She retired from performing in 2000. A beloved singer in Sweden where she also was known as an actress in movies and on stage. But internationally she's mainly known to fans of jazz music through her album "Waltz For Debby" recorded with piano player Bill Evans in 1964. It was also her own favourite recording of all the records she made.
Clicking the title/headline will give you the short allmusic.com biography. If you know of a better one online in English please tell me.
Sufficent to say that Monica has won the collective Swedish heart. Respected and loved she has also inspired the current generation of Swedish jazz vocalists like Rigmor Gustafsson. The Friday evening news on TV ended with Rigmor singing as a tribute to Monica.
A short guide to Monica's essential recordings
RadioDupree has played Monica in the past and we're currently playing a couple of tracks from her album with Bill Evans as well as from the CD "The Lost Recordings @ Bell South Studios NYC" that she recorded in 1960 with people like Thad Jones and Zoot Sims during her first trip to The Big Apple. Lost for 36 years they finally surfaced on record in 1996.
Oh! There's a serious connection to RadioDupree constant Frank Zappa: You can hear her sing "Zäpovalsen" which in fact is Frank's "Toads Of The Short Forest" with Swedish lyrics!
"From the opener "Come Rain or Come Shine" through the Swedish ballad "A Beautiful Rose" and the achingly gorgeous delivery of "Once Upon a Summertime," it's as if Zetterlund were destined to sing with Evans for a career instead of an album."
From allmusic.com review of "Waltz For Debby"