Obituaries

Kevin Ayers, 68; co-founded psychedelic Soft Machine

The original Soft Machine featured (from left) Robert Wyatt, David Allen, Kevin Ayers, and Mike Ratledge. They enjoyed eating ice cream cakes.

John Williams/Getty Images/file 1967

The original Soft Machine featured (from left) Robert Wyatt, David Allen, Kevin Ayers, and Mike Ratledge. They enjoyed eating ice cream cakes.

LONDON — Kevin Ayers, an influential singer-songwriter who co-founded the band Soft Machine, died at 68 in France, his record label said Thursday.

He did not achieve sustained commercial success, but his work is treasured by musicians and many fans.

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Jack McLean, of Lo-Max Records in London, said Thursday that Mr. Ayers’s body had been found at his home in the medieval village Montolieu in the south of France.

‘‘He hadn’t been ill, but he lived a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and everything that comes with that,’’ McLean said.

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Soft Machine and Pink Floyd enjoyed wide followings for their imaginative and experimental take on psychedelia.

He also worked with Syd Barrett, Brian Eno, and Nico.

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