Malcolm Young, Australian music legend and co-founder of rock band AC/DC, has died at the age of 64. Young had been living with dementia for the past three years, and his struggle with the disease saw his nephew, Stevie, take Young’s spot for the band’s last promotional tour in 2014.
The official AC/DC Facebook account published a statement about Young’s passing to its 30 million fans.
“It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother,” the statement reads. “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. 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.”
A second statement was also released on the Facebook page with a personal message from Malcolm’s brother, Angus.
“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.”
Thousands of fans flocked to the comments and reacted to the status, including fellow music legend Ozzy Osbourne, who posted on his own Facebook about the devastating loss.
“So sad to learn of the passing of yet another friend, Malcolm Young. He will be sadly missed. God Bless AC/DC,” Osbourne wrote as he shared the same black-and-white photo of Young.
Iconic musician Eddie Van Halen took to Twitter to share his condolences.
“It is a sad day in rock and roll,” van Halen wrote. “Malcolm Young was my friend and the heart and soul of AC/DC. I had some of the best times of my life with him on our 1984 European tour. He will be missed and my deepest condolences to his family, bandmates and friends.”
It is a sad day in rock and roll.Malcolm Young was my friend and the heart and soul of AC/DC.I had some of the best times of my life with him on our 1984 European tour.He will be missed and my deepest condolences to his family, bandmates and friends.
— Eddie Van Halen (@eddievanhalen) November 18, 2017
Besides a brief absence in 1988, Young was an integral part of AC/DC from its start in November 1973 right through to April 2014, when it was announced that he would receive treatment for dementia. Young’s permanent retirement was announced in September 2014, after it was revealed in The Sydney Morning Herald that he had been admitted to a nursing home for full-time care due to “complete loss of short-term memory”.
The members of AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Young is survived by his siblings as well as wife, O’Linda, his two children, Cara and Ross, and his three grandchildren. The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, fans send donations to The Salvation Army. Well-wishes can be sent to the family via a special memorial website, which will be available next week.