Celebs React to the Loss of Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch

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(Photo credit: CNN)

By Breeanna Hare, CNN

(CNN) — The music industry lost a legend Friday when Adam “MCA” Yauch died in New York City after a nearly three-year battle with cancer. He was 47.

Yauch was a founding member of the rap trio the Beastie Boys, and the sorrow at the news of his death was seen most immediately on Twitter.

Rev Run, himself a member of the seminal group Run DMC, tweeted Friday that he was “devastated.”

“Praying for Adam Yauch’s family from the legendary Beastie Boys,” he added. “Youll be missed!”

Russell Simmons said in a statement, “Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist, who I loved dearly. I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us.”

Yauch had been battling cancer since 2009, and was unable to attend the Beastie Boys’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month as a result.

He was, however, there in spirit, and his fellow Beastie Boys, Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Adrock” Horovitz, read a letter he’d written for the honor.

“I’d like to dedicate this to my brothers Adam and Mike,” the letter read. “They walked around the globe with me. It’s also for anyone who has ever been touched by our band. This induction is as much ours as it is yours.”

Indeed, many have been touched by the group, including Chuck D and LL Cool J, who honored Yauch and the Beastie Boys for being a “world-class hip-hop act.” LL, himself respected as a pioneer in the genre, said that evening that he “wouldn’t be here today without them. The Beastie Boys actually played my demo for Rick Rubin in his NYU dorm room.”

On Friday, in the wake of Yauch’s passing, several stars felt the loss of Yauch. Here’s a collection of condolences and memories that’ve been shared on the musician’s death:

“As a co-founding member of the three-time GRAMMY┬«-winning Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch was part of one of the most groundbreaking trios in hip-hop. The group’s music crossed genres and color lines, and helped bring rap to a wider audience. A rapper, musician and director, Yauch was an immense talent and creative visionary, and an instrumental force in the group’s career for more than three decades. In addition to his music and artistry, he was a philanthropist who devoted much of his energy to his passionate support for freedom of expression. The music world has lost a true trailblazer, and our deepest sympathies are with his family, friends and fans throughout the world.” – The Recording Academy

“One of my greatest moments in music was when I worked with the Beastie Boys…Now today I’m hearing our brother is gone. I prayed this would not happen .. MCA was so cool, man. We had great talks about what it was like for them in the beginning, getting into the rap game. I’ll never forget that experience for the rest of my life. MCA is true legend who influenced me. God bless his soul and his loved ones.” – Nas

“A VERY SPECIAL R.I.P. TO ADAM YAUCH FROM THE BEASTIE BOYS MY BROTHER YOU ARE GONNA BE TRULY MISSED MY HEART IS HEAVY…..” – Biz Markie

“Crushed to hear the news of Adam Yauch’s passing. A true pioneer of art. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.” — Justin Timberlake

“Crazy how diseases like Cancer can just eat away at your body and destroy ones life. Man Bestie Boys was the 1st Rock/Rap group. Damn… My condolences to Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch Family & the Beastie Boys. My brothers & I felt that pain before as well. Sad Day.” – Ghostface Killah

“I’m filled with so much sorrow to hear about the world losing Adam Yauch. He was such a beautiful person and artist. My heart is broken.” – Jonah Hill

“Adam Yauch was an amazing artist and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. His music was some of my favorite. Truly saddened.” — “Community’s” Donald Glover

“Struggling to find the words to describe the grief I feel over the passing of MCA. We love you Adam. One of my greatest life experiences was touring with The Beastie Boys in 2004. Europe, Canada, Madison Square Garden. The Beastie Boys changed my life. For real. Prayers going out to the whole family. The amount of people hitting me saying the first time they heard of or saw me was when I opened for the Beastie Boys proves their impact.” – Talib Kweli

“So sad that Adam Yauch is gone. A truly great musician & filmmaker. He stood for integrity as an artist. What a loss. He was a very good man.” – Ben Stiller

“RIP Adam Yauch (MCA of the Beastie Boys). He was a super-genius, a visionary and, most importantly, a really good person.” – Rainn Wilson

“Rest on peace Adam Yauch. Beastie Boys were always the ‘coolest whiteboys’ when I was growing up. They erased color lines the opposite way.” – Marlon Wayans