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Andy Fletcher, a founding member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-inducted electronic band Depeche Mode, has died at the age of 60, the group announced on Twitter.
“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 read. “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.”
A cause of death was not revealed.
Fletcher was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020, alongside bandmates Vince Clarke, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore. The British keyboardist and bassist was instrumental to the origins of the band, which date back to 1977 with the formation of No Romance in China during his schooling years. In 1980, Clarke and Fletcher rebranded their band Composition of Sound to Depeche Mode, adding Gore as a member and transitioning to an electronic sound. Later on, Gahan joined the group. Regarded as one of the most influential new wave artists, the band has sold more than 100 million records globally and holds 54 tracks on the UK Singles Chart.
Depeche Mode has also broken into the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 charts several times, and the band has been cited as a strong influence for later acts like The Killers, Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Chvrches and The Smashing Pumpkins, among others.
Fletcher was born in 1961 in Nottingham, England, and moved to Basildon at a young age, where he met Clarke. Though the latter abruptly departed the band in 1981, Fletcher continued as a key member — also contributing backing vocals — releasing 14 studio albums with Depeche Mode, the most recent of which was 2017’s “Spirit.”
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“We’re a democracy. If someone doesn’t want to do something then we won’t do it,” Fletcher said in a 2017 interview with the UK’s The Skinny magazine. “Martin and Dave live in the US and I live here, but it doesn’t really affect our relationships. Me and Martin are very close. Dave is more like a brother to me — if that makes sense. But what makes bands better than solo artists is the electricity that’s generated. Sometimes a band can’t stand each other but that electricity makes for great music. It’s the same with Depeche Mode; we have moments where we don’t like each other, and moments when we love each other. It’s the electricity that’s generated between us all that produces the good music.”