Tributes galore were made over the weekend to Beastie Boy Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch, who lost his battle with cancer on Friday. The rapper was first diagnosed with the disease just under three years ago, and his treatment had since curtailed the hip hop group’s activities somewhat, though he remained positive he could fight the illness throughout, and the outfit was still able to release 2011 record ‘Hot Sauce Committee Part 2′.
When the rap group were inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame last month it was initially hoped that the three rappers would be able to perform together at the induction show, but at the last minute Yauch had to withdraw from the awards bash because of ill health, and his fellow Beastie Boys decided to simply accept the honour with a short speech rather than perform without their bandmate.
A statement on the group’s official website posted on Friday said: “It is with great sadness that 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. He was 47 years old”.
Meanwhile, writing on the Beastie Boys Facebook page, Yauch’s bandmate Mike Diamond wrote: “I know, we should have tweeted and instagrammed every sad, happy and inspired thought, smile or tear by now. But honestly the last few days have just been a blur of deep emotions for our closest friend, bandmate and, really, brother. I miss Adam so much. He really served as a great example for myself and so many of what determination, faith, focus, and humility coupled with a sense of humour can accomplish. The world is in need of many more like him. We love you Adam”.
Third Beastie Boy Adam ‘Ad-Rock’ Horovitz, paid his tributes via the group’s blog, writing: “As you can imagine, shit is just fucked up right now, but I wanna say thank you to all our friends and family (which are kinda one [and] the same) for all the love and support. I’m glad to know that all the love that Yauch has put out into the world is coming right back at him. Thank you”.
A plethora of celebrities and music types also paid tribute over the weekend, among them Madonna, who the then fledgling Beastie Boys supported on tour in 1985. She wrote this weekend: “The Beastie Boys were one of a kind! And so was Adam! They were all an important part of my musical history and integral to the musical revolution that was happening at the time. I’m very sad to hear about Adam’s passing. God bless him and his family”.
Coldplay, playing the Hollywood Bowl on Friday night, performed a musical tribute in the form of a chilled out sung version of one of the Beastie Boys’ most famous hits, ‘(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)’, with Chris Martin ending the performance with the lyric: “We’re sending all our love to the Beastie Boys”.
Meanwhile Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons, one of the first to report on Yauch’s death via his GlobalGrind.com blog, wrote: “One of our heroes, Adam Yauch aka MCA of the Beastie Boys, has passed this morning after a long bout with cancer. 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”.
And finally a spokesman for the Dalai Lama also paid tribute to MCA, who had long practised Tibetan Buddhism and worked in support of the campaign for Tibetan independence. The Dalai Lama’s spokesman told reporters: “Adam had helped us raise awareness of the plight of the Tibetan people by organising various freedom Tibet concerts and he will be remembered by his holiness and the Tibetan people”.
The exact cause of Yauch’s death isn’t yet clear, though it is thought to be linked to the cancer that was first diagnosed in July 2009.