It’s always awful to have to report that a beloved artist has died, but we’re feeling especially crushed by the news of Adam Yauch’s death at only 47 years old. Best known to music lovers as the Beastie Boys’ MCA, Yauch had been living with parotid and lymph node cancer since 2009, when a tumor was discovered on his salivary gland. Although he had been undergoing treatment and occasionally sent out encouraging messages about his recovery, fans worried when he didn’t appear at the Beastie Boys’ Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction last month. No details have yet been released as to the immediate cause of Yauch’s death.
Taken from us decades too early, MCA leaves quite a legacy: In addition to the Beastie Boys’ 25 years’ worth of game-changing hip hop, Yauch was a vital member of the Free Tibet movement and one of the central organizers of the late-’90s Tibetan Freedom Concerts. Ten years ago, he founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, a film production company responsible for such movies as Exit Through the Gift Shop, Meek’s Cutoff, and We Need to Talk About Kevin. Yauch also, tragically, leaves behind a wife and daughter.