Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider, RIP
Florian Schneider, who co-founded Kraftwerk in 1970 and remained with the band until 2008, has passed away, multiple sources including Billboard confirm. He was 73.
According to a Rolling Stone report, Schneider died after a battle with cancer. The band issued a statement, which reads, "Kraftwerk co-founder and electro pioneer Ralf 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." The Guardian reports that "one of his musical collaborators" confirmed the news, and "said Schneider had died a week ago and had a private burial."
Schneider founded Kraftwerk as a duo in 1970 with Ralf Hütter, who remains the band's sole remaining original member to this day (they were supposed to tour this year before coronavirus got in the way). Schneider contributed vocals, synthesizers, flute, violin, guitar, percussion, and more to all of their studio albums, and toured with them through 2006, before officially departing the band two years later. Schneider's groundbreaking work with the group helped pave the way for modern electronic music and influenced countless artists, including David Bowie, whose "V-2 Schneider" was named after him. Schneider had also released new music on his own after leaving Kraftwerk as recently as 2015.
Tons of fellow musicians and other members of the music community have paid tribute, including OMD, Thomas Dolby, Stuart Braithwaite (Mogwai), Saint Etienne, Edwyn Collins, Midge Ure (Ultravox), Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet), Lloyd Cole, Geoff Rickly (Thursday), and many more.
Rest in peace, Florian. Your massive influence lives on and will not be forgotten.