Malcolm Young, co-founder of the legendary Australian rock band AC/DC with his brother Angus Young, died Saturday, Rolling Stone reports. He was 64.
Young had battled dementia for three years, an illness that had led to his departure from the band. Young's family confirmed he died peacefully, his loved ones at his side.
Young (far left) with the AC/DC lineup circa 1979
In a statement posted on AC/DC's official Facebook, Young was remembered for his dedication to the band and his artistry.
The statement in full:
"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."
In a separate brief statement, Angus Young wrote: "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."
George Young, the older brother of Malcolm and Angus and their producer, died at 70 last month.
AC/DC released 17 studio albums, two soundtracks, four live albums, 11 video albums and two box sets during the court of their career, but avoided greatest-hits collections. The band's best-selling album, "Back in Black," is certified 22x platinum in the U.S. alone, making it #2 on the list of the all-time best-selling albums, behind only Michael Jackson's "Thriller." It may have actually sold up to 50 million.
The band's biggest singles in the U.S. include "Highway to Hell" (1979), "You Shook Me All Night Long" (1980), "Back in Black" (1981) and "Moneytalks" (1990).
Rockin' in Toronto in 2009, near the end of his career
The brothers were credited as co-writers on all the band's songs from 1975-2014, the year Malcolm departed the group officially. His final live performance with the band was in Bilbao, Spain, in June 2010.
Other musicians have been mourning the loss of Young on social media:
I have to go...I am losing it that Malcolm is gone. I hate this...
RIP Malcolm Young Legend. He was the founding member of AC/DC & the engine that roared behind the most powerful band in the world. He wrote Back In Black, Highway to Hell, You Shook Me All Night Long, Highway to Hell, so many songs... Travel safely to the stars, Malcolm. Legend. pic.twitter.com/xfjylBbh4u
We are deeply saddened to have heard the news of the passing of Malcolm Young from AC/DC. Malcolm was the heart and soul of AC/DC and as fine an example as any to rhythm guitarists everywhere. Rock In Peace, Malcolm. Hope we see you up there. Love Dropkick Murphys pic.twitter.com/qCWxmjmKEQ