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It’s a sad day in Hip-Hop. TMZ reports the Adam “MCA” Yauch of seminal Hip-Hop act the Beastie Boys has passed away.

Yauch had been battling cancer for years. Recently, the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Yauch was scheduled to attend and perform before cancelling at the last minute. In 2009, Yauch was diagnosed with cancer of the parotid gland, a salivary gland in the throat and had been undergoing treatment via surgery and radiation therapy.

The Beastie Boys (Yauch with Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Adam Horovitz) were founded in 1979 as a hardcore punk band. But Hip-Hop was their calling and the trio released their Rick Rubin produced debut, Licensed To Ill, in 1996. The classic, which has since been certified 9X platinum, made the Boys stars thanks to its then innovative sampling, bugged out lyrics and the fact that these were white boys making dope Hip-Hop music.

Millions of records sold and numerous accolades later (including three Grammy Awards), the pioneering group’s last album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, was released in April 2011 after being delayed due to MCA’s ill health.

Adam Nathaniel Yauch was only 47 years-old. Rest In Power.



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Photo: Jeff Kravitz/ FilmMagic