A member of the Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch, has passed away. Yauch performed under the stage name of MCA and began battling cancer in his salivary gland in July of 2009. Then, sometime in 2011, it was mistakenly reported that Yauch had defeated the cancer. The band’s website released the following:
“Hello My Friends While I’m grateful for all the positive energy people are sending my way, reports of my being totally cancer free are exaggerated. I’m continuing treatment, staying optimistic and hoping to be cancer free in the near future.”
On April 14, the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Yauch was unable to attend. This led many to believe that his health had taken a turn for the worse. In 1981, Yauch and Michael ‘Mike D’ Diamond performed for the first time as the Beastie Boys with Kate Schellenbach and John Berry. Berry was replaced by Adam ‘Ad-Rock’ Horovitz in 1982.
Eight albums were released by the permanent lineup of Diamond, Yauch and Horovitz. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony will be aired by HBO on Saturday, May 5. The Beastie Boys are only the third rap group to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Run-D.M.C. was inducted in 2009 and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were inducted in 2007.
Back in 2011, Yauch was awarded the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters from Bard College. He attended the school for two years. The award is issued in recognition of “a significant contribution to the American artistic or literary heritage.” Yauch is survived by his daughter and wife.