Adam “MCA” Yauch, founding member of the Beastie Boys and hip-hop pioneer, has passed away at age 47.
Back in 2009, Yauch announced that he had been diagnosed with lymph node cancer. Reports would later surface that Yauch had defeated the disease and was cancer-free, but an official conflicting statement released later asserted “while I’m grateful for all the positive energy people are sending my way, reports of my being totally cancer-free are exaggerated. I’m continuing treatment, staying optimistic and hoping to be cancer free in the near future.” Though unconfirmed, multiple reports suggest his passing was cancer-related.
Yauch, along with Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz formed the Beastie Boys in 1981. Together, the Brooklyn innovators released classic albums such as Licensed to Ill, Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, and Ill Communication, each record a landmark in hip-hop.The trio released Hot Sauce Committee Part Two almost exactly one year ago today, on May 3, 2011.
Yauch is survived by wife, Dechen Wangdu, and daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch.