A representative for Yauch has just released the following statement:
"We at Silva Artist Management are deeply saddened to confirm the passing of our friend and client, Adam Yauch," his managers say. "We ask for your patience and understanding as well as respect for the privacy of Adam's family."
Meanwhile, Yauch's mentor and early manager Russell Simmons has also spoken out. "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."
Adam Yauch, aka MCA of the legendary hip hop group Beastie Boys, has died. The 47-year-old lost his battle with cancer today, RollingStone.com confirms. He was diagnosed with cancer of his parotid gland and lymph nodes in 2009. Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen Wangdu and their daughter Tenzin Losel Yauch.
Yauch was a founding member of the Beastie Boys, who rose to fame in the 1980s and 90s with such hits as "Brass Monkey," "Sabotage" and "Sure Shot." Yauch directed a number of the Beastie Boys music videos (under the pseudonym Nathaniel Hornblower), as well as their 2006 concert film, Awesome; I F--kin' Shot That!
In 2002, Yauch opened recording studio Oscilloscope Laboratories in New York City. The label branched out to producing and distributing feature films, including Yauch's directorial film debut, basketball documentary Gunnin' For That #1 Spot (2008), as well as breakaway hit Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010) and The Messenger (2009).
Oscilloscope underwent a big change yesterday when the company's president and Yauch's long-time partner David Frenkel stepped down from his role. Yauch said of his friend, "Fenkel has been a great collaborator and friend. We will all miss him in his previous role, but I'm glad he will remain a part of O-Scope."
Though the three-time Grammy winner was born to Jewish parents in Brooklyn, Yauch turned to Buddhism in the 2000s and became heavily involved in the Free Tibet Movement, even co-organizing the Tibetan Freedom Concerts of the late nineties.
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(Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)