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AC/DC Co-founder And Guitarist Malcolm Young Dies At 64
Malcolm Mitchell Young (6 January 1953 – 18 November 2017) was an Australian musician and songwriter, best known as a co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist and songwriter for the hard rock band AC/DC. Except for a brief absence in 1988, he was with the band from its November 1973 beginning until retiring permanently in 2014, due to health reasons.
Young took a leave of absence from AC/DC in April 2014, to receive treatment for dementia. In September 2014, the band’s management announced that he would be retiring permanently.
The AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Malcolm Young has died, aged 64, after living with dementia for about 10 years, the band announced.
A statement on the band’s website said: “Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young.”
“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 endeavoured.”
Young died at home on Saturday with his family nearby.
Although he was less of a showman than his school uniform-wearing brother, Young’s distinctive riffs helped propel the band to global stardom.
Angus Young said his brother’s loyalty to the band’s fans was unsurpassed.
“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.”
In September 2014 the band said Young had left the group because of the onset of dementia.
In November that year Angus Young told the Guardian that his brother had begun to show symptoms when the group recorded the Black Ice album in 2008, and that he had to relearn songs between shows on the subsequent tour.
“It was hard work for him. He was relearning a lot of those songs that he knew backwards; the ones we were playing that night he’d be relearning.”
Young was born on 6 January 1953 in Glasgow before he, along with his parents and seven siblings, emigrated to Australia in 1963.
He and his brother founded the band, variously described as rock n roll, heavy metal and hard blues, in 1973 before recording their first studio album, High Voltage, in 1975. They relocated to the UK the following year.
AC/DC’s seventh studio album, Back in Black, was released in 1980 and sold 50 million copies, making it one of the world’s highest-selling albums.
Young was the main songwriter for AC/DC, whose biggest hits include Highway to Hell, You Shook Me All Night Long and Back in Black. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the rest of the band in 2003.
“Malcolm is survived by his loving wife O’Linda, children Cara and Ross, son-in-law Josh, three grandchildren, sister and brother,” said the statement on the band’s website.
Last month their elder brother George, who was guitarist in the Easybeats and AC/DC’s longtime co-producer, died aged 70.