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Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, co-founder of the Beastie Boys, died on May 4 at the age of 47. Russell Simmons’ website GlobalGrind.com firstly reported the sad news. In 2009, Yauch announced he was getting treatments due to a cancerous parotid gland and a lymph node. He subsequently had surgery and radiation therapy. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
Adam Yauch co-founded the Beastie Boys in 1979, with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz, starting as a hardcore punk. The switch to hip hop started taking place in 1983, after the band gained moderate success in the New York City area where it was born. Beastie Boys then released their debut album ‘Licensed to Ill‘ in 1986, the record being the first hip hop album to top the Billboard chart.
Beastie Boys’ career then went on smoothly, gaining widespread success and respect in the industry. The band’s latest album was ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two,’ released in 2011; the record was initially planned to be released in September 2009, but got postponed due to Adam Yauch’s illness.
Beastie Boys were recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, although Yauch did not participate at the ceremony. On that occasion the band released a statement that read “Beastie Boys regret that Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch will be unable to join Mike ‘Mike D’ Diamond and Adam ‘Adrock’ Horovitz at the band’s induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in April. Mike, Adam and Adam are truly grateful for the honor but with only two of the three Beastie Boys attending, they will unfortunately not be able to perform at the ceremony.”
Besides his musical career, Yauch was strongly involved in the movement to free Tibet, and co-founded the film production company Oscilloscope Laboratories.
The web is already overflowing with sorrows for the passing of the late musician; for example, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers tweeted “Wow, lost another brother..sail on MCA..” Similarly, Ben Lee wrote “Safe travels, Adam.” Russell Simmons wrote a note on his website “Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist who I loved dearly. I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us.”