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AC/DC’s Malcolm Young Dead at 64

LONDON - 1st AUGUST: Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young from Australian rock band AC/DC posed in a studio in London in August 1979. (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)

Malcolm Young, founding member and guitarist of AC/DC, has died at age 64. Young had been fighting an ongoing battle with dementia for the last three years, which forced him to leave the band in 2014. The musician also suffered from a bout of lung cancer in 2008 that was treated successfully, as well as an unspecified heart condition which later necessitated a pacemaker. While the cause of death has not been stated publicly, a statement from his family notes that Young “passed away peacefully on Saturday with his family by his bedside.”

“Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” the band shared in an additional statement. “With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band. As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed.”

Founded with his brother Angus Young in 1973, AC/DC released their debut album High Voltage two years later, with Malcolm and Angus credited as co-writers on each of the album’s nine tracks. Their collaborative approach would continue across every one of the band’s 16 albums, including 2014’s Rock or Bust. In a statement shared with Rolling Stone, Angus added: “As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”

AC/DC played their first performance on New Years Eve in 1973. One of the most popular acts in history, the band scored a No. 1 album with For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) in 1982. AC/CD was awarded a Grammy in 2008 for their single “War Machine,” in the Best Hard Rock Performance category. Enriching the lives of many with almost 40 years of fiery entertainment, the band lives on in the memories of many thanks to Malcolm’s electrifying guitar playing and commitment to songwriting excellence.