Adam Yauch, the gravelly voiced rapper who helped make the one of the seminal groups in hip-hop, died Friday. He was 47.
Yauch, also known as MCA, died in New York after a nearly three-year battle with cancer, his representatives said. He had been diagnosed with a cancerous salivary gland in 2009.
At the time, Yauch expressed hope that it was "very treatable," but his illness forced the group to cancel shows and delayed the release of their 2011 album, "Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2."
He hadn't performed in public since 2009 and was absent when thewere inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month.
Yauch was an integral, founding member to the ever-weaving trio: three Jewish kids from New York who found widespread respect in a hip-hop world with few credible white performers.
In a 25-year span that covered four No. 1 albums and more than 40 million records sold, theplayed both prankster and pioneer, a groundbreaking act that helped bring hip-hop to the mainstream.