Rapper Adam Yauch, a third of the trailblazing hip-hop act the Beastie Boys, has died aged 47.
Yauch, who performed as MCA, had been in treatment for cancer since 2009 after discovering a tumor in his parotid gland.
The band's management posted a lengthy statement on the Beastie Boys website:
It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam "MCA" Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer.
This saddens me tremendously. I was a fan of his music and really admired his work as an activist for Tibet.
I didn't even know he was sick.