Adam Horovitz, Mike Diamond and Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys appear together at the 11th Annual Webby Awards in June 2007 in New York City.

Beastie Boys rapper Adam Yauch — also known by his stage name “MCA” — died Friday morning (May 4) at the age of 47 following a two-year battle with cancer. was the first to break the sad news. The website reported:

One of our heroes, Adam Yauch aka MCA of the Beastie Boys, passed away this morning after a long bout with cancer.

Yauch co-founded Beastie Boys in 1979 with Mike D, Mix Master Mike and Ad Roc. The group has won multiple Grammys.

In 2009, Yauch announced in a video message that he was being treated for a cancerous parotid gland and a lymph node.

“So this is crazy,” he said in the video statement on the Beastie Boys’ official website. “I have some pretty heavy news … I actually have a form of cancer.”

MCA has since undergone surgery and radiation therapy, and also became a vegan at the urging of his team of doctors.

He was reportedly too sick to appear with his bandmates during their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in April, and his treatments delayed the release of the group’s most recent album, “Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2.”

Adam “MCA” Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen Wangdu and his daughter Tenzin Losel Yauch.

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