Following recent rumors about a possible AC/DC split and the health of founding member Malcolm Young, the legendary rock band has issued a statement about its future and the musician.
"After 40 years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health," the group said in a message posted on its website on Wednesday, April 16. "Malcolm would like to thank the group's diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support."
"In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family's privacy be respected during this time," the statement added. "The band will continue to make music."
Scotland-born brothers Malcolm, a 61-year-old rhythm guitarist, and guitarist Angus Young, who is now 58 and known for wearing a schoolboy uniform while performing, formed AC/DC in 1973 in Australia. The Grammy-winning band became famous in the 1980s with hits such as "You Shook Me All Night Long," "T.N.T.," "Thunderstruck," "Highway To Hell" and "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)." The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Other band members include singer Brian Johnson, who replaced Bon Scott after his 1980 death, drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Williams. In February, Johnson revealed to Florida radio station Gator 98.7 FM plans for a 40th anniversary tour and new music -- their first since the 2008 record "Black Ice."
Rumors about Malcom's health, possible AC/DC split
The reports about Malcolm and the band's future began several days ago.
- On April 15, James Morley of the band The Angels, which has toured with AC/DC in the past, said on his Facebook page: "As alot of you will have heard this morning, AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young is very sick. I mentioned a few weeks back about some devastating news that i was given, this unfortunately is it."
- Australian radio station 6PR recently received an email from a person who identified themselves only as "Thunderstruck" and said that the musician and his family moved back to Australia, that he was "very, very ill," and that "AC/DC may well be history," according to the newspaper The Australian.
- Mark Gable, frontman of the group Choirboys, which formed after Malcolm and Angus' brother George Young, a record producer, heard their demo tape in the 1980s, recently told Australian radio station ABC Radio that Malcom is "sick."
- " FairFax Media, publisher of the Sydney Morning Herald, quoted a "family source" as saying that Malcom suffers from memory loss and has trouble communicating and recognizing people. He had reported returned with his family to Sydney before Christmas and was being cared for at his house.