Yauch revealed in July 2009 that he had surgery for a cancer in a salivary gland and a lymph node. Information on the cause of Yauch’s death wasn’t immediately available.
Yauch’s death would come less than a month after the Beastie Boys were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Because of his fight with cancer, Yauch did not attend, Rolling Stone reported.
The Beastie Boys – Yauch, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond – did not perform that night. But Horowitz read a letter from Yauch to the audience.
“I’d like to dedicate this to my brothers Adam and Mike,” Yauch wrote, according to Rolling Stone. “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’s cancer delayed the release of their most recent album, “Hot Sauce Committee Part II,” for two years. It was supposed to come out in 2009, but instead was released in spring 2011.
The Beastie Boys’ debut album, 1986′s “Licensed to Ill” – featuring the singles “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party),” “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “Paul Revere” and “Brass Monkey” – was the first rap album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard album charts.