Hip-hop pioneer and Beastie Boys icon Adam Yauch has lost his battle with cancer at the age of 47.
The rapper, also known as Mca, died on Friday (04May12), according to GlobalGrind.com.
Yauch was diagnosed with a tumour in his salivary gland in 2009 and underwent surgery and radiation therapy treatment. He also adopted a strict vegan diet and turned to ancient Chinese medicines to help him beat the disease.
A Brooklyn, New York native, Yauch formed the Beastie Boys in 1978 with his high school friends Mike D, John Berry and Kate Schellenbach.
The group started out as a hardcore punk band, but later developed into a rap trio with Yauch and Mike D teaming up with pal Adam 'Ad-Rock' Horovitz and they landed their big break after working with a young Rick Rubin, who would sign them to his newly-formed Def Jam Recordings in 1984.
They released their debut album, Licensed to Ill, in 1986 and went on to make a further seven records, with their last, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two released last year (11).
The Beastie Boys won three Grammy Awards and scored nominations for hit songs like Check Your Head, Sabotage and Ch-Check It Out.
The rappers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio last month (Apr12), although Yauch had to sit out the ceremony and the accolade was accepted by Mike D and Ad-Rock.
Taking to the stage without his bandmate, Ad-Rock - alongside Mike D and longtime DJ sidekick Mixmaster Mike - read out a statement from Yauch, who thanked the Beastie Boys' fans, writing, "This induction is as much ours as it is yours."
Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen Wangdu and their daughter Tenzin.