Robert Marquardt/WireImage Andy Fletcher
"We are shocked and filled with overwhelming sadness with the untimely passing of our dear friend, family member, and bandmate Andy 'Fletch' Fletcher," read a statement posted to Depeche Mode's social media pages on Thursday.
"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," continued the band.
"Our hearts are with his family, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts and respect their privacy in this difficult time," the statement concluded.
Fletcher's cause of death is currently unknown.
Sergione Infuso/Corbis/getty Martin Lee Gore, Dave Gahan and Andrew Fletcher in 2016
With an original lineup of Fletcher, vocalist Dave Gahan, and multi-instrumentalists Vince Clarke and Martin Gore, Depeche Mode was officially formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex, England.
The band released its debut album, Speak & Spell, in 1981 — shortly before Clarke exited the group. He was replaced by Alan Wilder the following year, creating the lineup Depeche Mode was known for through 1995, when Wilder departed the group, which has since been known as a trio. On tour, they also perform with musicians Christian Eigner and Peter Gordeno.
Depeche Mode has released 14 studio albums and earned 14 Top 10 singles in the United Kingdom including "See You," "People Are People," "Enjoy the Silence," and "Barrel of a Gun."
While Fletcher was known mainly as the band's keyboardist, his role in Depeche Mode changed as its lineup shifted over the years. He's the only member of the band who doesn't regularly sing and hasn't received writing credit on their songs. He long joked about his ever-evolving presence in the band, for which he also handled many business, legal, and other non-musical matters.
"Martin's the songwriter, Alan's the good musician, Dave's the vocalist, and I bum around," said Fletcher in D.A. Pennebaker's 1989 documentary about Depeche Mode.
Aside from his work in the group, Fletcher launched his own record label, Toast Hawaii, in partnership with Mute Records — Depeche Mode's longtime label — in 2002 and signed the band CLIEИT. He also began playing as a DJ to support the band's shows and continued to do so as a solo venture outside of Depeche Mode following CLIEИT's exit from his label in 2006.
Fin Costello/Redferns Andy Fletcher
In a 2017 interview with The Skinny, Fletcher spoke about Depeche Mode's lasting success. "It's been… an amazing dream come true," he told the outlet. "I always tell this story, but we had these accountants when we started to make a bit of money, and they drew up a plan – that we'd only last for two or three years. And yet we just kept getting more and more popular; we had to throw that plan out."
"But it's been incredible, and even now… we seem to be more popular now than we've ever been," continued Fletcher. We're not a big media band, and it's never been our ambition to be the biggest band in the world – it's just the way things have played out."
In 2020, Depeche Mode was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by actress Charlize Theron. "Depeche Mode is the soundtrack of my adolescence. I'm not kidding — there was literally a song for every occasion of my life," she said in a speech at the ceremony.
"It's no surprise they are joining the ranks of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — they should have been there 20 years ago, if it was up to me," continued Theron. "But what an incredibly well-deserved honor. Thank you, guys, for being the soundtrack to my life."
Fletcher is survived by his wife, Gráinne (née Mullan), and their two children, Megan and Joe.