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Beastie Boys Co-Founder Adam Yauch Dead
May 04, 2012
Adam Yauch, a member of the pioneering hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, has died at age 47.
Representatives for the musician confirmed that the rapper died Friday morning in New York after a nearly three-year battle with cancer.He is survived by his wife Dechen and his daughter Tenzin Losel, as well as his parents Frances and Noel Yauch.
Also known as MCA, Yauch was diagnosed with a cancerous salivary gland in 2009. He underwent surgery and radiation treatment and initially expressed hope that the cancer was "very treatable." But his illness caused the group to cancel shows and delayed the release of the 2011 album Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2.
The Brooklyn-born Yauch -- who was not able to attend the Beastie Boys' induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April -- created the Beastie Boys with high school friend Michael "Mike D" Diamond. Originally conceived as a hardcore punk group, it became a hip-hop trio after Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz joined.
In addition to his career with the Beastie Boys, Yauch was heavily involved in the movement to free Tibet and co-organized the Tibetan Freedom Concerts of the late Nineties. His passion and talent for filmmaking led to his founding Oscilloscope Laboratories, which in 2008 released his directorial film debut, the basketball documentary Gunnin' For That #1 Spot.
"Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist who I loved dearly," Russell Simmons told GlobalGrind about Yauch's death. I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us." Licensed to Ill, the Beastie Boys' first album, was released by Simmons' Def Jam label.
"It's impossible to measure the influence Adam Yauch and The Beastie Boys have had on me personally, on hip-hop culture as a whole, and on rock and roll in general. His legacy here at Def Jam is nothing short of iconic - he was one of the pioneering artists of this great label and family. We are filled with a sense of loss today...the Def Jam flag is at half mast. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and loved ones." adds Joie Manda, President of Def Jam Recordings.