A founding member of the hugely popular 1980s and 90s electronic musical group Depeche Mode, keyboardist Andy “Fletch” Fletcher, has reportedly died at the age of 60, Fox News reported.
The British band announced the news Thursday to its legion of fans on social media. Fletcher is survived by his wife and two children.
An “untimely” death
“We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher,” the group said in a statement posted to its official Twitter account.
“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,” the statement added. “Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy in this difficult time.”
— Depeche Mode (@depechemode) May 26, 2022
Hall of Fame-worthy musical artists
Fox News noted that Fletcher had joined with fellow original members Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Vincent Clarke to found Depeche Mode in Essex, England in 1980. Clarke left a year later, though, and was eventually replaced by Alan Wilder.
The group went on to become a highly successful and hugely influential band on the international music stage for decades to come.
According to Rolling Stone, Fletcher and the rest of his bandmates, including Clarke, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020 in recognition of Depeche Mode’s groundbreaking role as a pioneer of the synthesizer-heavy genre of electronic pop and rock music known as New Wave that became big in the 80s and 90s.
As a founding member, Fletcher was with the band for more than 40 years and performed on all of the group’s 14 studio albums, from the 1981 debut “Speak and Spell” to 2017’s “Spirit,” as well as the hundreds, if not even thousands of concerts put on over the decades.
Fox News noted that Depeche Mode has sold over 100 million copies of its albums and scored placement of no less than 54 of its songs on the U.K.’s charts over the years.
Terrible loss but the legacy will live on
This is sad news for fans of not just Depeche Mode itself but also a wide variety of modern-day electronic, pop, rock, and even heavy metal bands, many of which have drawn inspiration of some sort from the legendary group.
That said, the legacy of Fletcher and his band will live on for generations to come through their music as well as the influential role they played more broadly.