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Depeche Mode confirm Andy Fletcher’s cause of death

The keyboardist passed away last month at the age of 60

By Joe Goggins

Depeche Mode press shot, 2017
Fletcher, pictured right, passed on May 26. (Photo: Press)

Depeche Mode have revealed the cause of death of their founder and long-time keyboardist, Andy Fletcher.

A month on from Fletcher’s sudden passing at the age of 60, on May 26, his surviving bandmates, Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, have shared a new statement on Instagram, revealing that he died of an aortic dissection, and noting that “he passed naturally and without prolonged suffering.” The statement also revealed that a memorial service was held for Fletcher in London last week, and thanked fans for their outpouring of tributes.

In the message, posted by the Essex electronic titans yesterday (June 27), they said: “We wanted to take a moment and acknowledge the outpouring of love for Andy that we’ve seen from all of you over the last few weeks. It’s incredible to see all of your photos, to read your words, and to see how much Andy meant to all of you. As you can imagine, 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 went on to confirm how Fletcher had died. “A couple weeks ago we received the result from the medical examiners, which Andy’s family asked us to share with you now,” said the band. Andy suffered an aortic dissection while at home on May 26. So, even though it was far, far too soon, he passed naturally and without prolonged suffering.”

An aortic dissection occurs when there is a tear in the inner layer of the body’s main artery. Blood can rush through the tear, causing the inner and middle layers of the aorta to split. If the blood goes through the outside aortic wall, the condition often proves fatal.

Fletcher played on all 14 of Depeche Mode’s studio albums, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with them in 2020. His bandmates told fans that family and friends had come together in the capital to pay their own collective tribute to the synth wizard. “We had a celebration of Andy’s life in London last week, which was 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,” said Gahan and Gore.

“Andy was celebrated in a room full of many of his friends and family, our immediate DM family, and so many people who have touched Andy’s and our lives throughout the years. All being together was a very special way to remember Andy and see him off.” The statement concluded, “so thank you for all of the love you’ve shown Andy and his family and friends over the last few weeks. It honestly means the world to all of us. Andy, you’ll be missed, but certainly not forgotten.”

The future of Depeche Mode in the wake of Fletcher’s death remains unclear. Their last full-length album, ‘Spirit’, was released in 2017.