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Beastie Boy Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch Dead at 47

Adam Yauch
Matt Cardy, Getty Images

It is with a heavy heart that we report Beastie Boys member MCA — born Adam Yauch — has died. Yauch, who has battled cancer since 2009, was just 47 years old.

TMZ reports that it is not clear as of press time if Yauch died of cancer, although it seems like that would be the case. Yauch was being treated for cancer in the parotid gland, which is the largest of the salivary glands, as well as cancer of a lymph node. Yauch underwent surgery and radiation as part of his therapy.

GlobalGrind, the website of Russell Simmons, broke the news.

Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen and daughter Tenzin Losel. He had become a vegan in recent years on the advice of Tibetan doctors and was a practicing Buddist. He also founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, a studio and film production company.

As a member of the Beastie Boys, Yauch entertained fans for more than three decades with hits like ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right to Party,’ ‘Sabotage,’ and ‘Intergalactic.’ Along with Adam Horowitz (Ad-Rock) and Mike Diamond (Mike D), Yauch went on to win Grammy awards for the trio’s distinct and ground-breaking rap style, and Yauch was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in absentia on April 14. He was reportedly too ill to attend the ceremony.

Rest in peace, MCA.

Update (2:44 EST): MCA’s publicist has released a statement about the rapper’s death, writing, “It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch … passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old.”

Update (5:45 EST): A rep for the Dalai Lama (MCA was a devout Buddhist and a huge supporter of the Dalai Lama) told TMZ, “Adam had helped us raise awareness on the plight of the Tibetan people by organizing various freedom Tibet concerts and he will be remembered by his holiness and the Tibetan people.”

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