Early Saturday morning, it was announced that AC/DC co-founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young has died at the age of 64 after a battle with dementia.
A statement was issued by the band on Facebook about Young’s passing — followed by a shorter message from his brother, lead guitarist Angus Young:
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 endeavored.
His loyalty to the 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.
Malcolm’s family issued a separate statement of their own:
“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 had been forced to sit out of AC/DC’s recent touring and activities pertaining to their 2014 album Rock or Bust as a result of his health concerns.
On Monday, Brian Johnson, AC/DC’s longtime lead singer who retired from performing a few years ago, remembered Malcolm with a heartfelt message on his official site titled “For 32 Years We Stood Side By Side On Stage”:
“I am saddened by the passing of my friend Malcolm Young. I can’t believe he’s gone. We had such great times on the road.
I was always aware that he was a genius on guitar; his riffs have become legend, as has he.
I send out my love and sympathy to his wife Linda, his children Kara and Ross, and Angus, who will all be devastated, as we all are. He has left a legacy that I don’t think many can match.
He never liked the celebrity side of fame; he was too humble for that. He was the man who created AC/DC because he said there was no rock and roll out there.
I am proud to have known him and call him a friend, and I’m going to miss him so much. I salute you, Malcolm Young.”
Needless to say, his loss is a huge one for rock and roll, and stars took to social media to share their condolences and remember the influential rhythm guitarist who helped create one of the most cherished bands in history:
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
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) November 18, 2017
I’m sorry to hear about Malcolm Young, a fine player. pic.twitter.com/nxlxTrEZIS
— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) November 18, 2017
RIP Malcolm Young. pic.twitter.com/YbpGK5drpO
— Alice Cooper (@RealAliceCooper) November 20, 2017
Thank you, Malcolm for the songs, and the feel, and the cool, and the years of losing control to your rock and roll. I will do just that tonight, for you. pic.twitter.com/dnwm1uRFqd
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) November 18, 2017
This goes out to Malcolm Young.
He will be sorely missed. pic.twitter.com/gO1mWVuDeR
— Guns N' Roses (@gunsnroses) November 19, 2017
We lost a great musician this weekend with the passing of Malcolm Young of AC/DC. A fantastically talented songwriter, guitarist and creative force. Your music lives on, Malcom. Love to your family. #ACDC #ROCKMUSIC #Legacy pic.twitter.com/I9GxI8CFJp
— Randy Bachman (@RandysVinylTap) November 20, 2017
Playing ‘Thunderstruck’ AC/DC Malcolm Young..rock on RIP.
— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) November 19, 2017
May Malcolm Young rest in peace.