Adam Yauch, Founding Member of the Beastie Boys Is Dead

Adam Yauch, a member of the seminal hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys, has died. He was 47 years old.

The Brooklyn-born musician known to fans as MCA was first treated for cancerous growths in his parotid gland and a lymph node in 2009 and subsequently underwent surgery and radiation therapy, which forced the delay of the Beastie Boys’ most recent album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. His illness has also kept the group off the road, and Yauch missed the group’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two weeks ago.

Yauch first met his musical comrade-in-arms Michael Diamond (a.k.a. Mike D) when he was still in high school; inspired by the manic punk energy of bands like Black Flag, the pair conceived the Beastie Boys as a noisy hardcore band.

The group originally featured friends John Berry and Kate Schellenbach (the latter of whom later formed Luscious Jackson). The Polly Wog Stew EP gained them some attention, as did gigs opening for the likes of Bad Brains and the Misfits.

Berry departed the band and was replaced by Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock). Around the same time, the crew put together a song called “Cookie Puss,” which was based around a recorded prank phone call to Carvel. The song became an accidental sensation in New York’s underground dance scene, and the Beastie Boys began to build a reputation for blending humor and hip-hop in their sound.

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Adam Yauch, founding member of the Beastie Boys, has died | EW.com
Adam Yauch, a member of the seminal hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys, has died. He was 47 years old. The Brooklyn-born musician known to fans…