Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, the co-founder of the rock 'n' roll group AC/DC, died Saturday, Rolling Stone reported and the band announced on its website. He was 64.
Young had been suffering from dementia for the past three years, which forced his retirement from the band that he founded with his brother Angus Young in 1973.
"Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young," AC/DC wrote on its site. “Malcolm, along with Angus, was the founder and creator of AC/DC. 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.”
Angus Young 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.”
The Young brothers lost their older brother, George Young, who was the band's longtime producer and a guitarist for the Easybeats, on Oct. 23. George Young was 70 when he died.
In a statement to Australia's SBS, the band said that Malcolm Young died peacefully Saturday with his family by his side.
“Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many,” the statement said. “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 was last featured on the band's Black Ice tour, which ran from 2008 to 2010 and is the fourth-highest grossing tour of all time, SBS reported.
Malcolm Young, like his older brother George and younger brother Angus, was born in Glasgow, Scotland before the whole Young family emigrated to Sydney, Australia in the early 1960s, Rolling Stone reported.
Malcolm and Angus named the band after the “AC/DC” electrical current marker that they observed on their sisters sewing machine, Rolling Stone reported.
The brothers were the creative forces behind hits like “Highway to Hell,” “Back in Black,” “Highway to Hell,” “Thunderstruck,” “You Shook Me All Night Long,” and “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).”
Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine tweeted that he was “losing it that Malcolm is gone, I hate this.”
I have to go...I am losing it that Malcolm is gone. I hate this...— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) November 18, 2017
David Coverdale of Whitesnake tweeted that Young was “a great guy” and “a pleasure to know.”
“Truly missed,” he added.
Our Thoughts & Prayers Are With His Family, Friends & Fans...Great Guy ...A Pleasure To Know...Truly Missed, Malcolm...XX https://t.co/1ECM7urBN8— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) November 18, 2017
The Young brothers and AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, Rolling Stone reported. The band sold more than 110 million albums worldwide.
In September 2014 the band said Malcolm Young had left the group because of the onset of dementia, The Guardian reported.
In November 2014, Angus Young told The Guardian that his brother had developed symptoms when the group recorded the “Black Ice” album in 2008, and that he had to relearn songs between shows.
“It was hard work for him,” Angus Young said. “He was relearning a lot of those songs that he knew backwards; the ones we were playing that night he’d be relearning.”
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