The 47-year-old member of the Beastie Boys announced he would be receiving treatment for a cancerous tumor in his salivary gland in July 2009, and that as a result the group would cancel some future shows and push back the release of a new album.
In 2011 it had been reported that Yauch had beaten the disease, but reports were sadly exaggerated. On the band’s website he wrote:
"Hello My Friends While I’m grateful for all the positive energy people are sending my way, reports of my being totally cancer free are exaggerated. I’m continuing treatment, staying optimistic and hoping to be cancer free in the near future."
Most recently, it appeared Yauch’s health had taken a turn for the worst when it was announced that he was unable to attend the Beastie Boys’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland on March 14.
Yauch, along with Michael "Mike D" Diamond, and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz started the Beastie Boys in 1979 and have since released eight albums together. On Saturday, May 5, HBO will air the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony honoring the group, who just became the third rap group to enter the Hall, after Run-D.M.C. (2009) and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (2007).