Earlier yesterday the Beastie Boys released this official statement:
“It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam ‘McA’ Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer.”
Yauch had salivary gland cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, “Salivary gland cancer is a rare disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the salivary glands.” Sadly, as his voice was his greatest instrument, it kept Yauch from performing in his final days.
Yauch is best known for his ground-breaking music, but he was also a talented filmmaker.