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Beastie Boy Adam Yauch dies after cancer battle

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 5th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, who performed under the stage name MCA has passed away after a battle with cancer. Yauch was 47.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The cause of Yauch's death is currently unknown. Yauch had announced that he would be receiving treatment for a cancerous tumor in his salivary gland in July 2009. The Beasties Boys had cancelled some future shows and push back the release of a new album due to Yauch's illness.

It had been erroneously reported that Yauch had beaten the disease last year. "Hello My Friends While I'm grateful for all the positive energy people are sending my way, reports of my being totally cancer free are exaggerated,"  Yauch wrote on the band's Web site. "I'm continuing treatment, staying optimistic and hoping to be cancer free in the near future."

It had appeared that Yauch's health had taken a turn for the worse when he proved unable to attend the Beastie Boys' induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in March.

Yauch and Michael "Mike D" Diamond first performed as the Beastie Boys with John Berry and Kate Schellenbach in 1981. Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz replaced Berry in 1982 and became a permanent member.

The Beastie Boy lineup of Yauch, Diamond and Horovitz released eight albums. HBO will air the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony honoring the group this Saturday, who became just the third rap group to enter the Hall, after Run-D.M.C. in 2009 and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five in 2007.

Yauch was a practicing Buddhist who worked extensively on behalf of Tibet's oppressed Buddhist population. He was instrumental in organizing a series of Tibetan Freedom Concerts between 1996 and 2001, featuring acts including U2, Radiohead and Run-D.M.C.

Yauch had also branched out into film in recent years, forming Oscilloscope Laboratories, a production and distribution company whose credits include "We Need to Talk About Kevin, "Wendy and Lucy" and the Banksy documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop." Working under the pseudonym Nathanial Hornblower, Yauch directed many of the band's music videos, including "So What'cha Want," "Intergalactic," and the more recent "Make Some Noise."

Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wengdu, and their daughter, Losel.

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