Dennis Fredericksen, who was known in the rock world as singer Fergie Frederiksen, died Saturday of liver cancer at his home in Mound. He was 62.
An obituary in the Star Tribune written by music writer Jon Bream had the story of the journeyman singer, who was born in Michigan and has lived in the Twin Cities since the 1990s. Frederiksen was most famous as the second lead singer in the Grammy-winning band Toto. He was with the band for two years and recorded one Toto album, “Isolation,” which went gold in 1984. Over several decades, Frederiksen sang with a number of other rock bands including Trillion, LeRoux and World Classic Rockers. He also sang backup for Survivor on “Eye of the Tiger.”
The singer left Toto because of substance issues, according to his friend, longtime broadcaster Mike Woodley. In 2007, Frederiksen sat in with Toto when the band played a Minneapolis gig. “When they called him onstage to sing ‘Africa’ with Bobby Kimball, that was a big deal,” Woodley said. “That was his redemption.”
Frederiksen performed in the Twin Cities with the Fergie Frederiksen Band. He suffered from Hepatitis C and was involved with fundraisers to raise awareness of the disease. Woodley said that when Frederiksen was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in 2010, his life expectancy was short, but the singer was in good enough health to record and release two albums and to make an international tour withLegends: Voices of Rock, a group of classic-rock singers that included Kimball and Bill Champlin of Chicago.
"On Dec. 15, 2013 when his health was quickly failing we had a celebration for Fergie where his friends, current or former singers with Santana, Toto, Boston, Lynyrd Skynrd, Journey and Survivor all showed up on their own dime," Woodley said in an e-mail to BringMeTheNews. There was a full house at the party, held at the Bayview Event Center in Excelsior.
"It was more than music with Fergie; he was family," Woodley told BringMeTheNews. "He was the best friend I ever had."
Survivors include sons Kyler, Kolten (Kody) and Danny, who live in Minnesota, and his sister of Kentwood, Mich. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Bayview Event Center.