Malcolm Young, guitarist and co-founder of the legendary rock band AC/DC, died Saturday after a three-year battle with dementia. He was 64.
AC/DC confirmed the news on its website. “Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” the group wrote Saturday in a statement.
Young founded AC/DC alongside his brother, Angus, in 1973. The guitarist was forced to retire in 2014 from the band as a result of his illness. He and Angus had been credited as co-writers on every AC/DC song, beginning with their debut album High Voltage in 1975 through 2014’s Rock or Bust.
“With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band,” the statement continued. “As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed.”
Added Angus: “As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”
Young last performed with AC/DC in 2010 following the band’s tour in support of the 2008 album Black Ice. He officially retired from the group in 2014.
Young died peacefully alongside his family. He is survived by his wife, O’Linda, and two children.
Read AC/DC’s full statement below.
It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother. Malcolm had been suffering from Dementia for several years and passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside.
Renowned for his musical prowess Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many. From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.
Malcolm is survived by his loving wife O’Linda, children Cara and Ross, son-in-law Josh, three grandchildren, sister and brother.
While thanking all for their overwhelming support and heartfelt condolences, the family ask that you respect their privacy during this time of heartbreak and grief.
For those wishing to send messages to the family please visit the Sydney Morning Herald Malcolm Young Memorial website which will be available next week.
The family have asked instead of flowers to send donations to The Salvation Army.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.