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RIP: Adam Yauch, MCA of Beastie Boys, Dead at 47

Adam Yauch
Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

We’ve just received word that Adam Yauch, MCA of Grammy-winning rap group the Beastie Boys and indie film producer has passed away at the age of 47. Yauch announced in 2009 that he was being treated for cancer.

Yauch had undergone surgery and radiation treatment, but as TMZ reports, it’s unclear if his death was cancer-related. The rapper recently was unable to make it to the Beastie Boys’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

A Beastie Boys publicist released the following statement:

“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.”

A founding member of the Beastie Boys, Yauch formed the group in 1979 with friends Mike D, Mixmaster Mike, and Ad Rock. They made eight albums together, including last year’s ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.’

Adam “Ad Rock” Horowitz posted a statement on the band’s official site saying:

“as you can imagine, s–t is just fkd up right now. but i wanna say thank you to all our friends and family (which are kinda one in the same) for all the love and support. iā€™m glad to know that all the love that Yauch has put out into the world is coming right back at him. thank you.”

His influence was felt not just in music, but film too — Yauch built his very own studio in New York City, called Oscilloscope Labs, which has branched out to become a distribution label for indie films, such as ‘Bellflower,’ ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ and ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop.’ He was also a frequent director of Beastie Boys music videos, including the recent ‘Fight For Your Right Revisited’ short film that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and included stars Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen, Jack Black, Elijah Wood and more (you can watch that short in full below).

Oscilloscope’s statement reads as follows:

“We are deeply, deeply saddened by the passing of Adam Yauch ā€“ an amazing leader, a dear friend and an incredible human being. Today we are heartbroken at Oscilloscope as we take in this awful news and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. Adam’s legacy will remain a driving force at Oscilloscope ā€“ his indomitable spirit and his great passion for film, people, and hard work – always with a sense of humor and a lot of heart.”

Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wangdu, and daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch.

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