Adam Yauch, known to millions of fans as "MCA" of the legendary rap group The Beastie Boys has passed away. He was 47. 


Details regarding the cause of death have yet to be announced, but Yauch had been in treatment for cancer of the parotid (or salivary) gland and a related lymph node. In early 2011, in addition to radiation and surgery, the musician revealed that he had received advice from Tibetan doctors who recommended a strict vegan, organic diet along with Chinese medicine. In a note to his fans, he wrote:


“so i just got back from dharamsala, india. went over there to see some tibetan doctors, but as it worked out, the Dalai Lama was giving a 3 day teaching, so i was able to attend that as well.”


“i’m feeling healthy, strong and hopeful that i’ve beaten this thing, but of course time will tell. i’m taking tibetan medicine and at the recommendation of the tibetan doctors i’ve been eating a vegan/organic diet, which surprisingly enough was harder to do in india than it is now that i’m back home. here i can just shop for the right food and cook… a lot easier than depending on restaurants.”


Just two weeks ago, Yauch and his fellow bandmates, Ad-Rock and Mike D, were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though he was too ill to attend, Yauch sent along a letter to be read at the induction. 


“I’d like to dedicate this to my brothers Adam and Mike,” he wrote. “They walked the globe with me. It’s also for anyone who has ever been touched by our band. This induction is as much ours as it is yours.”


Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wengdu, and their daughter, Losel.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch dead at 47
The musician, better known as MCA of the legendary rap group the Beastie Boys, had been fighting cancer of the salivary gland and lymph node since 2009.