Adam Yauch, better known as MCA, one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys, passed away today at the age of 47. Yauch has been fighting cancer since 2009 after developing a tumor in his salivary gland.

Yauch founded the Beastie Boys in Brooklyn, New York along with Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond in 1979 as a hardcore punk band, yet the group gained fame during the rise of hip hop in the mid 80′s. Yauch is also responsible for directing many of the band’s famous music videos, as well as organizing the Tibetan Freedom Concerts of the 90′s.

The Beastie boys have sold over 40 million records worldwide, and this year were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, which Yauch could not attend due to illness.