Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch Dead at 47

Celebrity News May. 4, 2012 AT 1:15PM
Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys Credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns

Beastie Boys' co-founder Adam Yauch has died at the age of 47, a rep for the MC confirms to Us Weekly.

"It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam 'MCA' Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer," his rep shared in a statement with Us Friday.

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Best known by his stage name, MCA, the rapper was diagnosed with a tumor in his salivary gland in 2009. Eighteen months and a series of treatments later, Yauch seemed in good health once more.

On April 14, the Beastie Boys became the third rap group ever to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Yauch announced on the group's website that he would not be able to attend the ceremony.

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"Hello My Friends While I'm grateful for all the positive energy people are sending my way, reports of my being totally cancer free are exaggerated," he wrote. "I'm continuing treatment, staying optimistic, and hoping to be cancer free in the near future."

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Yauch founded the Beastie Boys alongside his friends Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz in 1979. The legendary rap group's most recent album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2, was released last May.

The hip hop icon is survived by his wife, Dechen Wangdu and their daughter, Tenzin.

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