Adam "MCA" Yauch, Founding Member Of The Beastie Boys, Dead At 47

Following a trying battle with cancer, Adam "MCA" Yauch passes away at 47.

May 4 2012, 5:25pm

In the history of pop music, there aren't too many perfect bands. Today we mourn the loss of Adam "MCA" Yauch, one of the founders of the Beastie Boys, a group that makes the list.

In 2009, we all received some troubling news, when Yauch was diagnosed with throat cancer. Today, only three short years later, he succumbed to the disease, sending his genre-defying, thirty-three year involvement with the seminal group to a terrifying silence.

Adam Nathaniel Yaunch (AKA MCA, AKA Nathanial Hörnblowér) was a Brooklyn-born, self-taught bass player who originally saw a future in hardcore punk music. Only a few years into his career as a Beastie Boy, he took on a newer roll in the group as an in-your-face early 80s rapper, performer, and eventually a film director and distributor. The Beastie Boys were a perfect entrance point for almost any genre of pop music, and the world is a sadder place without MCA in it.

MCA's aggressive look (often donning a leather jacket, gold chains, and a five o'clock shadow that seemed to last for decades) was a selling point for the group. Opposite witty troublemaker Ad-Rock, and the silly, wiry Mike D, MCA's scruffy vocals and tough but lovable image completed the perfect triforce.

He is survived by his wife Dechen Wangdu, and their daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch.

There's not much to say or do when these things happen, except to remember Yauch at happier times. Here's my favorite video of the Beastie Boys, partying backstage during the Licensed To Ill tour in 1987. I've never seen anyone party like these guys, but still, MCA seems a little removed throughout it all.

They don't make 'em like that anymore.