Kraftwerk founding member Florian Schneider dies at the age of 73

Kraftwerk founding member Florian Schneider dies at the age of 73 after battle with cancer

  • Kraftwerk co-founder Ralf Hütter confirmed: ‘Florian Schneider has passed away from a short cancer disease just a few days after his 73rd birthday’
  • Florian and Ralf Hütter started Kraftwerk in Dusseldorf in 1970 as part of the experimental ‘krautrock’ movement
  • In February, the legendary German electro pioneers had announced a North American tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary 
  • Kraftwerk — whose major albums include ‘Autobahn and ‘The Man-Machine’ — were honored in 2014 with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award 

Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider has died at the age of 73, Billboard has confirmed.

In a statement, his bandmate Ralf Hütter confirmed: ‘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.’    

In February, the legendary German electro pioneers announced a North American tour to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

RIP: Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider has died at the age of 73, Billboard has confirmed 

The influential group — which has inspired artists from David Bowie to Kanye West and Daft Punk — planned to kick off the 27-date trek throughout the US and Canada in Seattle on June 19, with destinations including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago along with Vancouver and Montreal.

The act promised immersive ‘3-D Concerts’ — a concept launched in 2013 that fuses three-dimensional visuals and performance art with Kraftwerk’s music catalog — that will return stateside for the first time since 2016.  

Florian and Ralf Hütter started Kraftwerk in Dusseldorf in 1970 as part of the experimental ‘krautrock’ movement, a broad genre blending psychedelic rock with electronic rhythms and early synthesizers.

The group, who famously said that they wanted to make music more as machines than as men, quickly gained international recognition for industrial sounds, sparse arrangements and computerized beats that provided a blueprint for later genres including electro, hip hop, techno and synthpop.

Farewell: In a statement, his bandmate Ralf Hütter confirmed: ‘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  (Florian pictured 2004)

Iconic: Florian and Ralf Hütter started Kraftwerk in Dusseldorf in 1970 as part of the experimental ‘krautrock’ movement, a broad genre blending psychedelic rock with electronic rhythms and early synthesizers (pictured 1973)

Kraftwerk – whose major albums include ‘Autobahn,’ ‘Trans-Europe Express’ and ‘The Man-Machine’ — were honored in 2014 with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.

The notoriously reclusive act has been a major contributor to music technology, constructing homemade instruments and devices to craft its innovative sound.

Florian did not perform on any of the dates for Kraftwerk’s 2008 world tour and was replaced by Stefan Plaffe.

An associate of the group said that Florian left Kraftwerk in November 2008, with his departure confirmed by NME in January 2009.

Success: The group, who famously said that they wanted to make music more as machines than as men, quickly gained international recognition (pictured in 1981) 

Florian’s exit from the band came with no explanation and from then on he kept a low profile.

Speaking in 2009, Ralf said his ex-bandmate ‘worked for many, many years on other projects: speech synthesis, and things like that. He was not really involved in Kraftwerk for many, many years.’

Three years ago, he insisted that he had ‘not really’ communicated with Florian since he quit the group.

One of his last pieces of music came in 2015, when he teamed up with producer Dan Lacksman on ‘Stop Plastic Pollution’, to raise awareness for the climate crisis.

He stated that the track was about ‘taking a swim in the ocean at the coasts of Ghana, watching fishermen catch nothing but plastic garbage in their nets’.

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