- - Sunday, May 6, 2012

Adam Yauch, the gravelly voiced Beastie Boys rapper who co-founded the seminal hip-hop group, has died at age 47.

Mr. Yauch’s representatives confirmed that the rapper died Friday morning in New York after a nearly three-year battle with cancer.

Also known as MCA, Mr. Yauch was diagnosed with a cancerous salivary gland in 2009. He had undergone surgery and radiation.

At the time, Mr. Yauch expressed hope it was “very treatable,” but his illness caused the group to cancel shows and delayed the release of their 2011 album, “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.”

He hadn’t performed in public since 2009 and was absent when the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April.

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The Brooklyn-born Mr. Yauch created the Beastie Boys with high school friend Michael “Mike D” Diamond. Originally conceived as a hard-core punk group, it soon became a hip-hop trio after Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz joined. They released their chart-topping debut “Licensed to Ill” in 1986, a raucous album led by the anthem “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”

In the seven studio albums that followed, the Beastie Boys expanded considerably and grew more musically ambitious. Their follow-up, 1989’s “Paul’s Boutique,” ended any suggestion of the group as a one-hit wonder. Extensive in its sampling and sonically layered, the album was ranked the 156th greatest album ever by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003.

The Beastie Boys would later take up their own instruments — a rarity in hip-hop — on the album “Check Your Head” and subsequent releases.

The Beastie Boys — a trio of white Jewish men — established themselves as one of the most respected groups in hip-hop at a time when white rappers were few.

Introducing the group at the Rock Hall, Public Enemy rapper Chuck D said the Beastie Boys “broke the mold.”

Mr. Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wangdu, and his daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch.

Gary Sinise to perform at ‘Rockin’ for the Troops’

Actor Gary Sinise is helping promote a summer concert in suburban Chicago that will benefit veterans.

The “Forrest Gump” star helped kickoff ticket sales for “Rockin’ for the Troops” on Thursday at the Navistar headquarters in Lisle, Ill..

The concert is planned for July 21 in nearby Wheaton. Mr. Sinise is slated to perform with his Lt. Dan Band, which is named for his character in the Oscar-winning movie.

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