Andy Fletcher Depeche Mode co-founder dies at age 60

Andy Fletcher of the band Depeche Mode is shown performing in concert at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 7, 2017. Fletcher, keyboardist for British synth pop giants Depeche Mode for more than 40 years, has died at age 60. (Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

Depeche Mode Keyboardist Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher Dead at 60

Rock Hall of Fame musician co-founded the group in 1980 and remained with them for more than 40 years.

Andy “Fletch” Fletcher, the co-founder and keyboardist of beloved synth-pop and New Wave stalwarts Depeche Mode, died at the age of 60.

Fletcher’s bandmates announced his death Thursday on social media; Rolling Stone has confirmed that the cause of death was natural causes. “We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher,” the band said in a statement.

“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.”

Fletcher formed the group that would become giants of British electropop along with fellow synthesizer players Vince Clarke and Martin Gore, and lead singer Dave Gahan, in Basildon, England, in 1980.

The band would break out a year later with their debut album Speak and Spell, which opened with the modest hit New Life and closed with one of the band’s enduring hits, Just Can’t Get Enough.

From left to right, Andy Fletcher, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore are shown at a March 8, 2017 event in New York City. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

Clarke would leave the group and be replaced by Alan Wilder after the album.

The group would find international success with 1984’s Some Great Reward and the single People are People, and their prominence would only grow throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.

Fletcher would lend his keyboards to classic albums including Music for the MassesBlack Celebration and Violator.

The first of these led to a world tour that brought a live album, a documentary, and a legendary concert with over 100,000 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., that represented the pinnacle of the band’s prominence.

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