Very sad news: Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, has passed away at the age of 47. He had been battling a cancerous tumour in his parotid gland for the past several years.
An official statement about the loss is up on the Beastie Boys website.
Adam, who rapped as MCA, was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1964 to Frances and Noel Yauch. He first played a show with the Beastie Boys on his 17th birthday - they were a punk/hardcore band at the time. The Beasties made the transition to hip-hop in 1984, and eventually became one of the most influential hip-hop groups of all time, helping to take the genre worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame on April 14, 2012, although Adam couldn't attend due to his illness.
As well as lending his voice to the group, Adam also directed many of the Beastie Boys' videos under the pseudonym 'Nathaniel Hörnblower'. He also branched out into documentary with the 2008 high school basketball film 'Gunnin' For That #1 Spot', and the Beastie's 2006 concert film 'Awesome; I F---in' Shot That!'. His film production and distribution company was called Oscilloscope Pictures, and released films including 'Wendy and Lucy' and 'We Need To Talk About Kevin'.
As a practicing Buddhist and an activist, Adam worked to raise awareness of the situation in Tibet, co-founding the Milarepa Fund in the mid-1990s. The organization organized the Tibetan Freedom Concerts.
Adam is survived by his wife Dechen and his daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch.
The April 15th edition of The Strombo Show was a tribute to the Beastie Boys - listen to that right here. If you want to delve deeper into the words Adam and his fellow Beasties wrote, there's an Annotated guide to their lyrics right here. And check out some of the amazing music Adam made during his life below:
No Sleep Til Brooklyn
So What Cha Want
Make Some Noise
For an overview of the massive influence Adam and the Beasties have had on other artists, and other areas of the world, check out CBC Music's tribute post. And on Twitter, some of the many, many people Adam has influenced have begun to tweet out their condolences:
RIP Adam Yauch. My thoughts... f-- Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) May 4, 2012
R I P Adam... I'm devastated.Praying for Adam Yauch's family from the legendary Beastie Boys. Youll be missed!-- Rev Run (@RevRunWisdom) May 4, 2012
Prayers and all the love I could ever muster for Adam Yauch. What a beautiful man. God bless his beautiful soul. A class act all the way-- Flea (@flea333) May 4, 2012
Adam Yauch was an amazing artist and one of the nicest people I've ever met. His music was some of my favorite. Truly saddened. RIP MCA.— Donald Glover (@DonaldGlover) May 4, 2012
In BK playing this loud as Fuck. RIP MCA!youtube.com/watch?v=07Y0cy...— Killer Mike (@KillerMikeGTO) May 4, 2012
Adam Yauch #RIPMCA. Thank you for Sabotage bass riff and many other great grooves. Adam also worked for justice and peace consciousness.— Krist Novoselic (@KristNovoselic) May 4, 2012
The Beastie Boys basically invented the concept of the cool white person. #RIPMCA— Chromeo (@Chromeo) May 4, 2012
So sad to hear of the passing of Adam Yauch.He was a great performer, director, father, humanitarian and New Yorker. #RIPMCA— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) May 4, 2012
Any asshole in the world can make it in music but to do while being a legit good person is near impossible This is the end of an era RIP MCA— Damian Abraham (@leftfordamian) May 4, 2012
Rip dear Adam Yauch. Words can't express the sadness and loss. Ur humor, talent & gentle soul are just irreplacable. Be at peace brother.— Tom Morello (@tmorello) May 4, 2012
So crushed. Growing up with the BEasties was learning how to misbehave, not give a fuck and turn the fresh upside down. RIP the great MCA.— Kevin Drew (@KevinSelection) May 4, 2012