Florian Schneider, co-founder of Germany’s influential electronic band Kraftwerk, has died. He was 73 years old. A representative for the band revealed Schneider had been battling cancer.
In a statement, Kraftwerk co-founder Ralf Hütter confirms “the very sad news that his friend and companion over many decades Florian Schneider has passed away from a short cancer disease just a few days after his 73rd birthday.”
Schneider formed the group and multimedia project with Hütter in 1970 after the two met at the Academy of Arts in Remscheid in Düsseldorf. The two were originally part of Germany’s experimental underground music scene. The two played in a group called Organisation before recording under the name Kraftwerk.
Though the band released their first albums in 1970 and 1972, they achieved mainstream success with their fourth album Autobahn in 1974. This and subsequent albums, like 1977’s Trans-Europe Express and 1978’s The Man-Machine, turned them into one of the most influential electronic bands of the era with David Bowie, Depeche Mode, and New Order citing them as an influence.
Schneider left Kraftwerk in 2008, saying he no longer wanted to tour. In 2015, Schneider released his own solo music with a track called “Stop Plastic Pollution.” Prior to his death, Kraftwerk had announced that the band would embark on a summer North American tour to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary.