Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider has died at the age of 73.
The band confirmed news of his death in a statement on Wednesday, revealing the musician had recently been diagnosed with cancer.
Florian was a pioneer of electronic pop, being a member of the German band for nearly 40 years.
Hits like Autobahn and The Model, albums like Trans-Europe Express and The Man Machine, and the band’s groundbreaking tours – which at times them replaced by automata on stage – were hugely influential on synth music during the 1970s and 1980s.
In a statement, the band said: “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 reported that Florian died a week ago and had already had a private burial.
Florian first began working with former bandmate Hütter in 1968, founding Kraftwerk together two years later.
He remained a member, both touring and releasing records, until quitting in 2008.
Hütter previously described his bandmate as a “sound perfectionist”, adding: “If the sound isn’t up to a certain standard, he doesn’t want to do it.”
Kraftwerk’s musical output influenced countless artists including Depeche Mode, New Order and Daft Punk.
David Bowie named the 1977 Heroes album track V-2 Schneider after Florian.
Kraftwerk’s songs Numbers and Trans-Europe Express were heavily sampled in Afrika Bambaataa’s influential 1982 hip-hop single Planet Rock. More recently, Coldplay sampled their 1981 track Computer Love for the song Talk in 2005, while Jay-Z and Dr Dre used elements of Trans-Europe Express on their collaboration Under Pressure.
Ultravox’s Midge Ure was among the first to pay tribute, calling Florian “way ahead of his time”, while Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos said he was a “big inspiration in my life”.