Beastie Boys rapper MCA, whose real name is Adam Yauch, has died at the age of 47 after battling cancer for almost three years.
Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen, his daughter Tenzin Losel and his parents Frances and Noel Yauch.
"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," his spokesperson said in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com."
Yauch was a founding member of the hip-hop trio Beastie Boys, which consists of Michael Diamond, Adam Yauch and Adam Horovitz, formed in the late 1970s and achieved commercial success with the 1987 rock anthem "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)." They later incorporated more electronic sounds, spurring the 1995 hit "Intergalactic."
Yaunch was born in Brooklyn, New York and taught himself to play bass guitar when he was in high school. He formed a band for his 17th birthday party. That group would become The Beastie Boys.
The group earned three Grammy Awards and in 2011, released their eighth studio album, "Hot Sauce Committee Part Two."
The Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame on April 14, 2012. Before the ceremony, the group announced that Yauch would not be able attend the induction ceremony and therefore, the trio could not perform.
Yauch revealed in July 2009 that he had cancer in a salivary gland in his neck. He announced last year that he was optimistic about treatment, but not cancer free.
"Beastie Boys regret that Adam 'MCA' Yauch will be unable to join Mike 'Mike D' Diamond and Adam 'Adrock' Horovitz at the band's induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in April," the group told Rolling Stone magazine at the time. "Mike, Adam and Adam are truly grateful for the honor but with only two of the three Beastie Boys attending, they will unfortunately not be able to perform at the ceremony."
Yauch, who was a practicing Buddhist, founded the non-profit group The Milarepa Fund, which promotes awareness about the plight of native Tibetans by the Chinese government and military forces. The organization produced the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which was attended by 100,000 people, making it the biggest benefit concert on U.S. soil since 1985's Live Aid.