Keyboardist Andy Fletcher, a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer as one of the founding members of Depeche Mode, died May 26 at his home. He was 60 years old.
Fletcher and fellow synthesizer players Vince Clarke and Martin Gore formed the British new wave electronic band with lead singer Dave Gahan in Basildon, England, in 1980. Fletcher also played bass on occasion. After the band’s first album, Clarke left the group and Alan Wilder replaced him.
The band released a statement on its social media pages announcing the loss but did not share further details.
“We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher,” Depeche Mode posted on Twitter. “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.”
— Depeche Mode (@depechemode) May 26, 2022
Depeche Mode released 14 albums that went gold or platinum and 55 singles. The band’s 1981 song “Just Can’t Get Enough” was a breakthrough hit during the infancy of MTV. By 1985, the group became popular in the U.S., with hits including “People Are People,” “Personal Jesus” and “Policy of Truth.”
Despite being in the band from the start, Fletcher’s face never became as famous as his bandmates, partly because he never sang or wrote songs for the group and partly because he liked to keep a low profile, according to the Washington Post. He was known to be a Chelsea FC soccer fan who enjoyed chess when he wasn’t on stage.
In 2020, the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Fletcher, Gahan and Gore accepted the honor remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fletcher remained part of the band until his passing.
Fletcher is survived by his wife of nearly 30 years, Gráinne Mullan, and two children, Megan and Joe.