Beastie Boy Adam Yauch dies at 47

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, known as MCA, has died aged 47. The rapper and co-founder of the Brooklyn band had been receiving treatment for cancer since doctors discovered a tumour in 2009.

The Beastie Boys website issued a statement: "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 was a guiding force behind the Beastie Boys’ transition from the wisecracking jokers who had a worldwide hit in the mid 80s with Fight For Your Right (To Party) to become innovators and a radical force in hip-hop and rock. The first white rap act to taste mainstream success, they overcame initial hostility and suspicion to earn considerable respect.

Yauch also countered the image of shallow hedonistic pop star with a fierce commitment to the cause of Tibet. He was a passionate Buddhist and a thoughtful critic of some of the more extreme attitudes and crass lyrics of some hip-hop artists.

Actress Milla Jovovich tweeted: "We lost one of our greatest talents today. My prayers and thoughts go out to the family and friends of Adam Yauch. Beastie Boys for life."

Justin Timberlake also took to Twitter to pay tribute: "Crushed to hear the news of Adam Yauch's passing. A true pioneer of art. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. #RIPMCA".

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