Depeche Mode fans are mourning the loss of one of the British electronic band’s founding members.
Fox News reports that Andy “Fletch” Fletcher, Depeche Mode’s keyboardist, has passed away at the age of 60.
Fletcher’s passing was announced Thursday, May 26, on Twitter, via the band’s official page.
“We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher,” the statement reads.
Further details about Fletcher’s passing, such as the cause of death, have not been disclosed.
Fletcher and Depeche Mode
The Washington Post describes Fletcher as “the unassuming, bespectacled, redheaded keyboardist who for more than 40 years added his synth sounds to Depeche Mode hits like Just Can’t Get Enough and Personal Jesus.”
Fletcher had been with the band since the beginning, which was in Basildon, England, in 1980. Then, Fletcher teamed up with several other synthesizer players, including Vince Clarke, Martin Gore, and Dave Gahan, who was the band’s lead singer.
It wasn’t long until Depeche Mode rose to the top of British electronic pop music. International success followed. The band, over the past four decades, has sold more than 100 million records, and it has had 54 songs on the United Kingdom’s Singles Chart.
Fletcher was a part of the reason for the band’s success. Following the news of Fletcher’s passing, Vernon Reid, the Living Colour guitarist, explained, “[Fletcher’s] keyboard sounds crafted not just Depeche Mode’s sonic approach but shifted the direction of Techno, EDM, Downtempo, Triphop, & Electronica.”
Fletcher was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2020.
“True heart of gold”
Depeche Mode, in announcing Fletcher’s death, remembered Fletcher as a man with “a true heart of gold.” The band wrote:
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.
The family that Fletcher leaves behind, includes his wife, Grainne, and his two children, Joe and Megan.