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His partners at production company, Oscilloscope, confirmed the news: “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. He was 47 years old.”
“Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist who I loved dearly,” Russell Simmons, co-founder of the rap group’s label Def Jam Records, wrote on his site, globalgrind.com. “I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us.”
Specific details of his death have yet to be confirmed. In 2009, Yauch was treated for a cancerous parotid gland and a lymph node and underwent surgery and radiation therapy, delaying the group’s release of the group’s album Hot Sauce Committee and a tour that included a headlining slot at Lollapalooza.
Simmons’ brother and original member of iconic rap group, Run-DMC, Joseph Simmons aka Rev Run tweeted, “R I P Adam… I’m devastated. Praying for Adam Yauch’s family from the legendary Beastie Boys. You’ll be missed!”
Label mate, Q-Tip took to Twitter to express his sadness over the news. “RIP yauch and thank u mike and adam n adam 4 all of your help,” he writes. “the tours, the bball games, n great times. a humanitarian a tru friend.”
Other friends and colleagues across the music and entertainment industry also expressed their thoughts on Yauch’s death. See what they had to say below.
This morning i lost a great friend, a brother and a legendary bandmate,Adam yauch. I will miss him so deeply. twitter.com/M1XMASTERM1KE/…
— MIX MASTER MIKE (@M1XMASTERM1KE) May 5, 2012
I’m very very sad to hear of adam yauch’s passing. He was a wonderful, generous, remarkable, and inspiring man and friend.
Sean Ono Lennon, Musician
Adam Yauch Rest In Peace. I’ll miss you very very much.
Josh Groban, Singer
Oh no. This just sucks beyond measure. RIP MCA.
Snoop Dogg, Rapper
RIP MCA U are a Legend and a pioneer. #BeastieBoys4life
Rob Sheffield, Music Journalist
Namaste to the guy who taught me the word. #RIPMCA
Ice T, Rapper and actor
TERRIBLE NEWS: MCA of the Beastie Boys has died at 47. Another very sad day in Hip Hop.
Will.I.Am, Black Eyed Peas
#restinpeaceMCA 1 of my favorite hiphop groups…hiphop raised a lot of us & now we have to wake up because are hero’s are dying too young.
My deepest condolences 2 the family of Adam yauch & the beastie boys. Adam was the coolest dude ever & will b missed but memory will live on
Thank you for Sabotage bass riff and many other great grooves. Adam also worked for justice and peace consciousness.
Travis Barker, Blink-182
Rest In Peace Adam Yauch /MCA. 4ever somebody I looked up to & had the pleasure of meeting. Damn this bums me out, we lost one of the best
Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day
Lollapalooza94 talked to Yauch almost everyday He was full of wisdom & encouragement for a freaked out kid like I was. Thank you MCA. LoveBJ
Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers
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
Roger Faxon, CEO of EMI Group
“The Beastie Boys have been a pioneering force in hip-hop for more than 25 years, and an integral part of the EMI family for the vast majority of their career. With albums such as Licensed To Ill, Paul’s Boutique, Ill Communication and 2009’s Hot Sauce Committee Pt 2, they have consistently pushed creative boundaries and produced music that has connected with fans around the world. … For us at EMI to have had the opportunity to work with such a groundbreaking band has been a true privilege, and the devastating loss of Adam will be felt by all of us around the world. Our thoughts and best wishes are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Paul Epworth, Grammy-winning producer, musician and songwriter
Really can’t believe MCA has left us. so young too.#R.I.P.AdamYauch
John Taylor, Duran Duran
Shocking, sad news of the death of Adam Yauch. An extraordinary guy-musician, artist, mensch. My heart goes out to those close to him
Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator from New York
Born and Bred in Brooklyn, U.S.A., they call him Adam Yauch, but he’s M.C.A. RIP Adam. #beastieboys #nosleeptillbrooklyn
Van Toffler, President of MTV Music Group
Lots of us at MTV grew up with Adam and his Beastie brothers. He had a keen artistic eye and great wit that helped shape so many of the group’s music and videos. He made us want to rock, scream and laugh all in one breath. We will miss him as will his many fans.
Marlon Wayans, Actor
Please join me in my twitter moment of silence for a hip hop great Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys. Thank I 4 all u done bro
Carson Daly, The Voice
Sooo sorry to report… God Bless his family
Kevin Smith, Director
RIP Adam Yauch. You made my teenage years more fun and your art made it easier for me to do what I do. For a Beastie, you sure were a beaut.
Gael Garcia Bernal, Actor
Buen viaje Adam Yauch.
Joie Manda, President of Def Jam Recordings
His legacy here at Def Jam is nothing short of iconic – he was one of the pioneering artists of this great label and family. We are filled with a sense of loss today…the Def Jam flag is at half mast. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and loved ones.
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