Electric Light Orchestra's Richard Tandy Dead at 76

He was the only original member to rejoin Jeff Lynne's ELO

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 2, 2024

Electric Light Orchestra's Richard Tandy has died. He was 76.

Thus far, no cause of death has been reported. The news was shared by ELO leader and longtime collaborator Jeff Lynne on social media, writing, "He was a remarkable musician & friend and I'll cherish the lifetime of memories we had together."

Tandy was born in Birmingham, UK, and eventually became classmates with Bev Bevan, who extended an invitation for him to play harpsichord on "Blackberry Way," the Move's 1968 single. Bevan and Roy Wood decided to start Electric Light Orchestra in 1970, bringing Lynne into the fold.

While Tandy didn't record on debut album The Electric Light Orchestra, he started performing with the band shortly after its release — initially as a bassist in the touring band and later, as the keyboardist. He became a close collaborator of Lynne's and one of the outfit's few full-time members, contributing their infamous key and synth sounds up until ELO's 1986 disbandment. 

When Lynne reformed the group as Jeff Lynne's ELO in the 2000s, Tandy was the only original member to rejoin. In 2017, the musician was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of Electric Light Orchestra.

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