Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch dies of cancer at age 47
BY JENNIFER CHANCELLOR World Scene Writer
Saturday, May 05, 2012
5/05/12 at 4:41 AM
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Adam Yauch, co-founder of rap-rock pioneer The Beastie Boys, has died from cancer at age 47, multiple sources confirm.
He sat out the band's recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame due to ill health, and his cancer treatments had delayed the anticipated release of the 2011 album "Hot Sauce Committee Part 2."
The gravelly voiced Beastie Boys rapper and the most conscientious member of the seminal hip-hop group, has died, his mentor Russell Simmons confirmed Friday.
"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," Simmons said in a press statement.
The Beastie Boys - a trio of white Jewish kids - established themselves as one of the most respected groups in hip-hop at a time when white rappers were few. The group sold more than 40 million albums and recorded the first hip-hop album ever to top the Billboard 200, the band's 1986 full length debut, "Licensed To Ill."
The band hasn't performed live since Yauch's diagnosis in 2009. Yauch founded the Beastie Boys in 1979 in New York with Adam "King Ad-Rock" Horowitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond. The band's sound spanned genres and decades.
According to the Associated Press, the cause, time and whereabouts of his death weren't immediately known. Yauch had undergone surgery and radiation to treat his cancer.
Yauch was a founder of the Milarepa Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and activism regarding the injustices perpetrated on native Tibetans by Chinese occupational government and military forces.
In 1996, Milarepa produced the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, attended by 100,000 people, making it the biggest benefit concert on U.S. soil since 1985's Live Aid.
Stars from every genre and walk of life tweeted their sadness. At one point, eight of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter were Beastie Boys-related song titles and #RIPMCA.
Wrote The Rev Run from Run-DMC, "R I P Adam... I'm devastated. Praying for Adam Yauch's family from the legendary Beastie Boys. Youll be missed!"
Officials from The Beastie Boys' first record label, Def Jam, wrote, "Man...that one hurts. Our prayers go out to Adam Yauch and his family. #MCA #BEASTIEBOYS Rest Well."
Said electronic music pioneer the Chemical Brothers, "RIP Adam Yauch. thanks for the amazing music, continual inspiration."
Hayley Williams of Paramore wrote, "RIP ADAM MCA YAUCH."
Professional athlete Lance Armstrong, who himself suffered a battle with cancer, wrote, "Crushed to hear the news of Adam Yauch's passing. #RIPMCA"
Musician and activist Tom Morello shared, "Rip dear Adam Yauch. Words can't express the sadness and loss. Ur humor, talent & gentle soul are just irreplacable. Be at peace brother."
Rocker Bryan Adams wrote, "Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, RIP."
Original Print Headline: Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch dies of cancer
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
In this Sept. 7, 1994, file photo, members of the Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch, known as MCA (left), Adam Horovitz, known as Ad-Rock (foreground right) and Michael Diamond, known as Mike D, rehearse at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Associated Press file