Founding member of pioneering hip hop group the Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch, has died at age 47 after a long battle with cancer, according to hip hop website globalgrind.com, though these reports are unconfirmed.
Update: A representative for the Beastie Boys has confirmed Yauch “passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer.” (Via LA Times)
Yaunch had been undergoing treatment for cancer since 2009. He had radiation therapy and minor surgery to remove a cancerous tumour in his parotid gland last year, which he called “torture”.
He was born an only child, the son of Frances and Noel Yauch, a painter and architect. His father was Catholic and his mother was Jewish. Growing up in Brooklyn, NYC, he taught himself to play the bass guitar. When he was 22, the Beastie Boys released their first album Licensed to Ill on Def Jam Records.
Last year the trio released their long-awaited new album Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2., which was supposed to mark the end of a hard period for the trio.