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The Beastie Boys’ MCA, real name Adam Yauch, has died.

The hip hop pioneer was 47. In 2009, MCA announced he was being treated for cancer of the parotid gland and a lymph node. He underwent surgery and radiation therapy.

It is unclear as of this posting whether Yauch’s death was related to cancer.

MCA co-founded Beastie Boys in 1979 (yes, 1979) with Mike D, and Ad Rock, and went on to churn out some of the most iconic albums in hip-hop.

They trio landed their big break after working with young producer Rick Rubin, who would sign them to his newly-formed Def Jam Recordings in 1984.

License to Ill, Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head and Ill Communication won the group multiple Grammys and a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Yauch is survived by his wife and daughter. He will be missed by many.

Russell Simmons’ site GlobalGrind (dot) com first reported his death. What are your favorite memories of Yauch, and of the Beastie Boys in general?

Beastie Boys - Sure Shot