by Allyson Koerner
Categories: Causes, Music
Tags: .

Today, the music industry lost another talented musician, Adam Yauch aka “MCA” from the Beastie Boys. After a three year struggle with cancer, Yauch died at 47-years-old.

In addition to impacting music in so many ways with hits like “Fight for Your Right,” “Brass Monkey” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” Yauch was an avid humanitarian and socially responsible man who constantly gave back to others.

To start, he formed Oscilloscope Laboratories, a film company that is one of the most important film distributors today. Yauch took a chance by putting out films most people wouldn’t.

Some of these masterpieces included “No Impact Man” that focuses on author and self-proclaimed environmentalist Colin Beavan and his goal to remain environmentally committed for one year. Other films Yauch distributed were “Wendy and Lucy” that tells the story of a woman and her dog through their tough life journey and lastly “Flow,” an inspiring documentary about the world water crisis.

Yauch also made sure to stay connected with others through his charitable endeavors like his work, along with his bandmates, to free Tibet from Chinese rule. He was a devoted Buddhist who worked hard for the cause. The Beastie Boys even held the Tibetan Freedom Concerts in the late ‘90s to raise awareness on the issue.

Through his fight for Tibet and his Tibetan doctors, Yauch became a practicing vegan. He was even known for turning vegan to help him fight his cancer.

“[I’m] taking Tibetan medicine and at the recommendation of the Tibetan doctors I’ve been eating a vegan/organic diet,” Yauch said in an email sent to fans. “I’m feeling healthy, strong and hopeful that I’ve beaten this thing, but of course time will tell.”

In 2005, the Beastie Boys also showed their love for animals by hosting a charitable concert in Manhattan to raise money for the ASPCA and Rational Animal, an organization dedicated in raising awareness about at-risk animals in New York City.

Yauch was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009, and had many ups and downs. In April, the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but sadly Yauch could not attend.

It’s always sad when someone so talented, dedicated and such a fighter dies so young, but we know his legacy will endure and that the world is a better place for having had him in it.

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner first found her love of writing while attending Westminster College in Pennsylvania, and that passion evolved while she was earning her Master's in Print & Multimedia Journalism at Boston's Emerson College. She's an experienced writer dabbling in all things vegan, green, entertainment and TV-related. Feel free to keep tabs on her over at Twitter: @AllysonKoerner.

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  • Mecca Vaughn

    To me, I didn’t know that Adam Yauch was a vegan back then, even I also didn’t know that the Beastie Boys do care for the animals, and that’s very amazing. I think (in my opinion), they’re more like the Beatles, who all of them care for the animals and become vegan or vegetarian, as well. Sad that he’s gone. My thoughts and prayers goes to his wife, his 14-year old daughter, and the rest of the Beastie Boys band ;-(