Music fans were dealt a big blow on Friday when the sad news that one of the Beastie Boys had died. Adam Yauch had been one of the founding members of the beloved, influential, and critically acclaimed hip-hop group. But sadly, after a three-year battle Adam Yauch aka MCA lost his battle with cancer at the age of 47.
Back in 2009, Yauch had been treated for a cancerous lymph node and parotid gland (which is one of the largest of the salivary glands). He had surgery, underwent radiation therapy and the practicing Buddhist – as advised by his Tibetan doctors – became a vegan. Yauch was very open about discussing his cancer, keeping fans updated on his previous progress in letters like this. Just last year – as Rolling Stone stated, “Yauch announced that he was optimistic about treatment, but was not yet cancer-free.”
In addition to his music career, Yauch was also a director and had a production and distribution company called Oscilloscope Pictures. Back in the mid-1990s, he co-founded the Milarepa Fund, a organization that raised money and awareness for the Tibetan independence movement.
The Beastie Boys were recently honored with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in mid April, but Yauch did not attend.
Yauch married Dechen Wangdu (who is the daughter of Tibetan activists) in 1998. Of meeting and marrying Wangdu Adam once said, “I was debating between the idea of being a celibate and becoming a monk or actually having family…I was deciding whether or not I wanted to try being in a serious relationship or just stay on my own…Dechen and I started spending some time together and hanging out, it just felt like it would be great to have a family. That would be the right thing to do.” Their daughter Tenzin Losel Yauch was born that same year, 1998.
Yauch leaves behind his wife Dechen Wangdu, daughter Tenzin Losel Yauch, friends, family and many many fans.
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