Something quite implausible came across the news wire about three hours ago. However, its confirmed that Adam Yauch, founding member of the Beastie Boys, passed away early today after a brave 3-year battle with cancer. He was 47.
Yauch, who goes by the moniker MCA, forever transformed the music-scape with fellow Beastie Boys Mike D (Michael Diamond) and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz). Beloved by fans worldwide for their wild party boys persona and rap lyrics, the trio became pioneers of sort, as a white rap group from NYC’s hardcore punk scene of the 1970s. A prolific discography that includes Paul’s Boutique (1989), Check Your Head (1992), Ill Communication (1994), and more. But it was the group’s first album, the 1986 Licensed to Ill, that signaled the oncoming popularity of hip hop when it became the first LP of its kind to claim the #1 spot on Billboard 200. In addition to his music, Yauch, who was a Buddhist, became a passionate activist for Tibet and vocal opponent against the current occupation by China.
In 2009, while working on the group’s most recent album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, Yauch made a public announcement via a YouTube video about his cancerous parotid gland and lymph node. Work on the album and tour came to a halt as Yauch underwent surgery and treatment. The group made a triumphant return almost exactly a year ago with the release of Hot Sauce Committee Part Two and Fight For Your Right (Revisited), a star studded full-length music video. It was just two weeks ago that Beatie Boys got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Noticeably absent was Yauch, though Mike D and Ad-Rock read a letter on stage in his behalf, in which he thanked fans and his fellow band mates. Adam “MCA” Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wangdu, daughter Tenzin Losel Yauch, the extended Beastie Boys family, and the countless fans around the globe.