Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, a.k.a MCA, has died at age 47.
A post on the Beastie Boys website reads, "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."
In 2009, Yauch revealed in a video posted online that he was being treated for cancer in a parotid gland and a lymph node. He had since undergone surgery and radiation therapy, and was pursuing alternative treatment, including a vegan diet.
It was reported in early 2011 that the rapper was cancer free, but he was quick to take to the Beastie Boys website and refute the reports.
Yauch co-founded the Beastie Boys in 1979. The group started out as a harcore punk band but later turned to rap and rock and became the lineup of Yauch, Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad Roc" Horowitz (later, "Mix Master Mike" Schwartz would join in). They burst onto the music scene in 1986 with the seminal album Licensed to Ill, which spawned the classic hit "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)."