- by Variance Staff
- May 3, 2012
Adam Yauch, the gravelly voiced rapper who helped make the Beastie Boys one of the seminal groups in hip-hop, died Friday in New York. He was 47.
Yauch, also known as MCA, lost a nearly three-year battle with cancer, the band's publicist said. He had been diagnosed with a cancerous salivary gland in 2009. At the time, Yauch expressed hope that it was "very treatable," but his illness forced the group to cancel shows and eventually delayed the release of their 2011 album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2.
He last performed in public in 2009 and was absent when the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month.
In a 25-year span that covered four No. 1 albums and more than 40 million records sold, the Beastie Boys are a groundbreaking act that helped bring hip-hop to the mainstream.
Another hip-hop pioneer, Eminem, responded to the tragic news on Friday acknowledging Yauch's influence on his own career. "Adam Yauch brought a lot of positivity into the world and I think it's obvious to anyone how big of an influence the Beastie Boys were on me and so many others. They are trailblazers and pioneers and Adam will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, Mike D., and Ad-Rock."