Florian Schneider, the co-founder of German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk, has died, SPIN has confirmed. He was 73.
“Kraftwerk co-founder and electro pioneer Ralf Alf Hütter has sent us 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,” a band rep said in a statement.
In 1970, Schneider formed Kraftwerk with Ralf Hütter after first meeting at the Academy of Arts in Remscheid, then at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf. From then until his 2008 departure, the group was widely praised for their futuristic keyboard-based sound or in their own words, “robot-pop.”
Kraftwerk were set to embark on a North American tour this summer to celebrate their 50th anniversary before the COVID-19 pandemic spread.
The group has been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame six times as well. During his tenure with Kraftwerk, the group released 10 studio albums, including the praised Autobahn, Trans-Europe Express and The Man-Machine in the mid-to-late ’70s
Kraftwerk has not released any new music since 2003’s Tour de France Soundtracks, itself based on the song “Tour de France,” which was first released in 1983. Recognized as electronic music pioneers, the band won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and won their first actual Grammy award in 2018 for Best Dance/Electronic Album for their live album, 3-D The Catalogue.
Born on April 7, 1947, Schneider played synthesizer, vocoder, flute, sax among many instruments and sang as well.