Malcolm Young, AC/DC co-founder, and guitarist has died. He was 64.
A statement on the band’s website broke the tragic news to millions of fans worldwide. Young had been battling dementia for the past few years, with his health recently taking a turn for the worse.
“It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother,” the statement began. “Malcolm had been suffering from Dementia for several years and passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside.”
“Renowned for his musical prowess Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer, and visionary who inspired many,” the statement continued. “From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.”
Malcolm Young formed what would become one of the world’s largest rock bands in 1973 with his brother Angus. They chose the name “AC/DC” for their band as they thought it best described their particular brand of electrifying performance. Since then, Malcolm and Angus have had their name beside every song the band has ever written, from their first international album High Voltage to their most recent Rock or Bust.
“As his brother, it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life,” his brother Angus added. “The bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.”
Brothers Malcolm and Angus played guitar in the band, with Angus taking the lead guitar and Malcolm providing a stable rhythm. While Angus is best known for his onstage antics in a school boy’s uniform, Malcolm broadly provided the band’s sound, playing mostly open chords with little additional effect.
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AC/DC’s final album, Rock or Bust, was the last that Malcolm ever worked on. He officially retired from the band in September 2014, publically confirming his battle with dementia.
“We miss Malcolm, obviously,” AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson said in a July 2014 interview with Rolling Stone. “He’s a fighter. He’s in hospital, but he’s a fighter. We’ve got our fingers crossed that he’ll get strong again… Stevie, Malcolm’s nephew, was magnificent, but when you’re recording with this thing hanging over you and your work mate isn’t well, it’s difficult. But I’m sure he was rooting for us.”
“Malcolm Young was one of the best ever rhythm guitarists in Rock n Roll,” said the legendary Slash, lead guitarist for Guns N Roses. “He was a fantastic songwriter and he had a great work ethic too. I toured with AC/DC on their ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ tour. I found Malcolm to be a really cool, down to earth fellow. The entire rock n’ roll community is heartbroken by his passing.”
AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, having sold over 110 million records over the course of their career. This incredible feat also made AC/DC Australia’s most successful band in history.
Malcolm is survived by his wife O’Linda, children Cara and Ross, brother Angus, and sister Margaret. The band has requested rather than sending flowers that mourners make donations to The Salvation Army.
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