Richard Tandy: Electric Light Orchestra keyboardist dies aged 76

Tandy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Electric Light Orchestra

With heavy hearts, we bid farewell to Richard Tandy, the virtuoso keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist whose musical journey with Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) spanned over five decades. Jeff Lynne, the iconic frontman and co-founder of the group, shared the somber news of Tandy’s passing. Although the cause of death remains undisclosed, sources reveal he battled illness for several years. He was 76.

“It is with great sadness that I share the news of the passing of my long-time collaborator and dear friend Richard Tandy,” expressed Lynne on social media. “He was a remarkable musician & friend, and I’ll cherish the lifetime of memories we had together. Sending all my love to Sheila & the Tandy family.”

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Tandy’s contribution to ELO’s distinctive sound was monumental. From his enchanting synthesizers to his majestic piano and funk-infused clavinet, he infused classical and soulful nuances into ELO’s hits like “Evil Woman,” “Strange Magic,” “Livin’ Thing,” and “Telephone Line.” His vocoder-altered voice in the iconic “Mr. Blue Sky” remains etched in musical history. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the band in 2017, Tandy’s legacy is immortalized in the annals of music.

Born in Birmingham, England, Tandy’s musical journey began with drummer Bev Bevan, eventually leading him to ELO after the release of their debut album. Through evolving lineups and sonic explorations, Tandy remained an integral member of the band, collaborating closely with Lynne on arrangements and performances.

While ELO’s commercial zenith peaked in the late ’70s, Tandy’s musical prowess continued to shine through the decades. His versatility and mastery of keyboard instruments enriched the band’s sonic tapestry, earning them global acclaim and over 50 million album sales.

As we mourn the loss of a musical luminary, let us celebrate the indelible mark Richard Tandy has left on the world of music. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Sheila and the Tandy family during this difficult time.

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