Beastie Boys member Adam “MCA” Yauch died 10 years ago Wednesday.
Yauch, Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz made up the three main members of the pioneering hip hop/rock group, which made history with 1986’s Licensed to Ill, the first-ever rap album to hit number one on the Billboard 200. Licensed to Ill spawned the hit single “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!),” and was certified Diamond by the RIAA in 2015.
The Beasties followed Licensed to Ill with 1989’s experimental Paul’s Boutique. While it didn’t reach the commercial heights of Licensed to Ill, Paul’s Boutique became a critical darling and is now considered to be highly influential.
Eventually, the trio found themselves back atop the charts with 1994’s Ill Communication, which included the single “Sabotage.” Ill Communication kicked off a streak of three straight number-one Billboard 200 albums, followed by 1998’s Hello Nasty and 2004’s To the 5 Boroughs.
After a one-off instrumental record in 2007, the Beasties released Hot Sauce Committee Part Two in 2011, which would turn out to be their final album. Yauch, who’d announced in 2009 that he’d been diagnosed with cancer, died May 4, 2012, at age 47.
About a month before Yauch died, Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Yauch did not attend, but sent in a speech read by Horovitz at the ceremony.
Yauch’s death was mourned by artists throughout the music world, and he was memorialized with a park named after him in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. Horovitz and Diamond have since disbanded Beastie Boys.
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