Kraftwerk co-founder Florian Schneider has died.

The 73-year-old multi-instrumentalist played synthesiser, vocoder, flute, sax and performed vocals in the pioneering electronic music group, until his departure in 2008.

Florian sadly lost his battle with cancer a week ago and a private burial was held, Sony Berlin confirmed.

Florian formed the influential German outfit - who are famed for their phenomenal light shows and use of technology - in 1970 alongside Ralf Hütter and together they pioneered a sound that would go on to inspire artists from an array of genres from synth-pop, techno, rock and beyond.

Late music icon David Bowie was a huge fan of Florian's work, and even dedicated the track 'V-2 Schneider' to him on his seminal 1977 LP, 'Heroes'.

In a statement, Kraftwerk 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.

''In the year 1968 Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider started their artistic and musical collaboration.

''In 1970 they founded their electronic Kling Klang studio in Düsseldorf and started the multi-media project Kraftwerk. All the Kraftwerk catalogue albums were conceived and produced there.''

Whilst Florian was a member of Kraftwerk, they released 10 studio albums together and they were honoured with a number of prestigious accolades, including the Best Dance/Electronic album Grammy in 2017 for '3-D The Catalogue', whilst they were the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.

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''.