Filmmaker and recording artist Adam Yauch speaks onstage at the Apple Soho store on May 2, 2008 in New York City. Rapper Adam Yauch, AKA MCA, of the Beastie Boys has died May 4, 2012 after battling cancer. He was 47. (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
(USA Today) -- The music world is mourning again. Adam Yauch, known as Beastie Boys rapper MCA, has died.
GlobalGrind.com, Russell Simmon's website, reports that Yauch died after a long battle with cancer. He was 47.
In 2009, Yauch announced he was being treated for a cancerous parotid gland and a lymph node. He has since undergone surgery and radiation therapy. Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wengdu, and their daughter, Losel.
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Yauch was born an only child in Brooklyn, New York. While attending Edward R. Murrow High School, he taught himself to play the bass guitar, and formed the initial incarnation of the Beastie Boys with Michael Diamond (a.k.a. Mike D. ). They played their first show, then still a punk band in the vein of Reagan Youth on his 17th birthday. Yauch attended Bard College for two years before dropping out to focus on music.
The group originally featured friends John Berry and Kate Schellenbach. After Berry departed the band, he and was replaced by Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock). The group began building their reputation with a song called Cookie Puss, based around a recorded prank phone call to Carvel. The song became a sensation in New York's underground dance scene.
Two years later, at the age of 22, the Beastie Boys, now performing as a hip hop trio, released their first album Licensed to Ill on Simmons' Def Jam Records. By 2010, the Beastie Boys had sold 40 million records worldwide. The group has won multiple Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. Yauch, a practicing Buddhist, didn't attend because of illness, but his bandmates read a letter from him.
"I'd like to dedicate this to my brothers Adam and Mike," he wrote. "They walked the globe with me. It's also for anyone who has ever been touched by our band. This induction is as much ours as it is yours."