Depeche Mode keyboard player Andy Fletcher has died aged 60
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Andy Fletcher, the co-founder and keyboardist of legendary electronic band Depeche Mode, has died at the age of 60, it has been announced.

The synth-pop group were one of the biggest draws of the 80s, with a stream of smash singles including ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’, ‘Enjoy the Silence’ and ‘Personal Jesus’.

In recent years, the band have continued to tour internationally as one of the most recognisable groups from the era. 

In a statement tonight on Twitter, Depeche Mode said: ‘We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness at the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member and bandmate Andy ‘Fletch’ Fletcher.

‘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 at this difficult time.’

Depeche Mode keyboard player Andy Fletcher has died aged 60

Depeche Mode keyboard player Andy Fletcher has died aged 60

Fletcher co-founded the group with bandmates Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Vince Clarke in Basildon, Essex, in 1980.

Fletcher co-founded the group with bandmates Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Vince Clarke in Basildon, Essex, in 1980.

(left to right) Fletcher, Dave Gahan, Alan Wilder and Martin Gore of Depeche Mode in 1987 during the height of their commercial success

(left to right) Fletcher, Dave Gahan, Alan Wilder and Martin Gore of Depeche Mode in 1987 during the height of their commercial success

(Left to right) Fletcher with Depeche Mode bandmates Dave Gahan and Martin Gore in Berlin, Germany, in 2013

(Left to right) Fletcher with Depeche Mode bandmates Dave Gahan and Martin Gore in Berlin, Germany, in 2013

As one of the co-founders of Depeche Mode in 1980, Fletcher was behind a string of hits including 'Just Can't Get Enough', 'Enjoy the Silence' and 'Personal Jesus'

As one of the co-founders of Depeche Mode in 1980, Fletcher was behind a string of hits including ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’, ‘Enjoy the Silence’ and ‘Personal Jesus’

Fletcher performing with Depeche Mode in 1981 at the Venue, Astoria, London

Fletcher performing with Depeche Mode in 1981 at the Venue, Astoria, London

Clockwise from top: Depeche Mode

Clockwise from top: Depeche Mode 

Bandmates led tributes to the musician 'who was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh or a cold pint'

 Bandmates led tributes to the musician ‘who was always there when you needed support, a lively conversation, a good laugh or a cold pint’

Andy Fletcher with Depeche Mode in concert in Budapest, Hungary, in 2018

Andy Fletcher with Depeche Mode in concert in Budapest, Hungary, in 2018

Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and Andy Fletcher continued to perform in concert as Depeche Mode as one of the most recognisable acts of the 1980s

Martin Gore, Dave Gahan and Andy Fletcher continued to perform in concert as Depeche Mode as one of the most recognisable acts of the 1980s

Fletcher co-founded the group with bandmates Dave Gahan, Martin Gore and Vince Clarke in Basildon, Essex, in 1980.

The chose their name from French fashion magazine Depeche Mode, with frontman Gahan explaining: ‘It means hurried fashion or fashion dispatch. I like the sound of that.’

The played their first gig at school in 1980 and went on to make demo tapes, personally delivering them to record companies.

The eventually recorded their first single ‘Dreaming of Me’ in December 1980 for independent label Mute Records, whose founder Daniel Miller was interested in their unique electronic sound.

It reached number 57 in the UK charts. Buoyed by their early success, the band recorded a follow-up single, ‘New Life’, which made it to number 11 in the charts and landed their first appearance on Top of the Pops.

Musician Andrew Fletcher of Depeche Mode speaks onstage at the Convention Centre in Austin, Texas, in 2013

Musician Andrew Fletcher of Depeche Mode speaks onstage at the Convention Centre in Austin, Texas, in 2013

Fletcher (pictured in 1984) helped define the synth-pop genre of music as keyboardist of Depeche Mode

Fletcher (pictured in 1984) helped define the synth-pop genre of music as keyboardist of Depeche Mode

Andy Fletcher attends a private view of photographer Dave Benett's new exhibition 'Great Shot, Kid' in London on February 16

Andy Fletcher attends a private view of photographer Dave Benett’s new exhibition ‘Great Shot, Kid’ in London on February 16

Memorably, the band travelled to the BBC studio in London by train, taking their synthesizers with them.

It was their third single, ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ that propelled the group to stardom and scored their first top ten hit.

Around this time, original synthesist Vince Clarke left the band to form Yazoo with Alison Moyet, but Depeche Mode followed their 80s success with other hits, including ‘Enjoy the Silence’, ‘Strangelove’ and ‘Personal Jesus’.

In a documentary about Depeche Mode in 1989, Fletcher admitted his role oscillated between the other three members, telling interviewer D. A. Pennabaker: ‘Martin’s the songwriter, Alan’s the good musician, Dave’s the vocalist, and I bum around.’

Fletcher handled many of the band’s business and media interests; and expanded his career in the  1990s by running a restaurant named Gascogne’s in St John’s Wood, London.

Fletcher married Gráinne Mullan in 1993 and had two children, Megan and Joe. 

He admitted to suffering depression and endured a breakdown in 1994 after a series of bad investments, but he recovered to continue performing throughout the subsequent years.

He embarked on a tour of small European clubs in late 2015 and most recently headline after fracturing his wrist during a holiday to Barcelona last month.

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