Russell Simmons, co-founder of Beastie Boys label Def Jam, broke the news Friday on his website GlobalGrind.
“Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist who I loved dearly. I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us,” Simmons said.
A statement later appeared on the band’s website.
“It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam “MCA” Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys … passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer,” the statement said.
May God have mercy on him, and on all of us (who do not know the hour of our passing)