Depeche Mode have announced the cause of death of their keyboardist Andrew Fletcher as an aortic dissection – a tear in a main artery from his heart.
In a statement on social media, the band said: “A couple weeks ago we received the result from the medical examiners, which Andy’s family asked us to share with you now. Andy suffered an aortic dissection while at home on 26 May. So, even though it was far, far too soon, he passed naturally and without prolonged suffering.”
They thanked their fans for their messages of condolence, saying: “It’s been a strange, sad, disorienting few weeks for us here, to say the least. But we’ve seen and felt all of your love and support, and we know that Andy’s family has too.”
They said they had marked his death at 60 with a “celebration of Andy’s life … a beautiful ceremony and gathering with a few tears, but filled with the great memories of who Andy was, stories of all of our times together, and some good laughs.”
A founder member of Depeche Mode, Fletcher didn’t provide songwriting which was led by Martin Gore, but was seen as a key member of the group beyond his keyboard playing: someone who helped stabilise and champion the band even during fractious moments. He once described himself as “the tall guy in the background, without whom this international corporation called Depeche Mode would never work”.