Andy Fletcher, Depeche Mode’s founding member, has died aged 60.
It was announced on Thursday (26 May) that the keyboardist had passed away peacefully.
A tribute to Andy was posted by Depeche Mode on social media which read: "We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy Fletcher.
"Fletch had a true heart of gold and was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh, or a cold pint.
"Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy in this difficult time."
Fletcher, nicknamed ‘Fletch’, founded the group in Basildon in 1980 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two years ago.
He was born in Nottingham, England, in 1961 and moved to Basildon as a child, where he met Depeche Mode’s other founding member, Vince Clarke (who went on to form Erasure).
The pair formed the band No Romance In China in the late 70s and after meeting Martin Gore renamed themselves Composition Of Sound.
Once Dave Gahan joined the group, Composition Of Sound became Depeche Mode, and the rest is history, with the band's debut album hitting stores in 1981.
The band is best known for hits Personal Jesus, Just Can't Get Enough and Enjoy The Silence.
Fletcher, who was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2020, leaves behind his wife Gráinne Mullan and their two children.
Depeche Mode’s most recent album was titled Spirits and released in 2017 and the group last performed live in 2018 in Germany.
Fletcher ran Toast Hawaii, his own record label, in the early 2000s and toured often as a DJ, including Depeche Mode remixes in his set.
Speaking about his role in Depeche Mode to Electronic Beats in 2013, Fletcher said: “I’m the opposite of Dave. I’m a musician but on the street nobody will recognize me.
“Within the band, I contribute the element of pop. Martin L. Gore, who writes most of the songs, loves American blues and country. And Dave has discovered jazz for himself.
“I, however, will probably eternally feel loyal to the simple pop melodies and the lightness they stand for. My kids also like pop.”
He added: “[I’m] the tall guy in the background, without whom this international corporation called Depeche Mode would never work.”
Featured Image Credit: Alamy