Photo: Mick Hutson/Redferns
Malcolm Young, AC/DC Co-Founder & Rhythm Guitarist, Dies
Malcolm Young, co-founder of GRAMMY winners AC/DC, died on Nov. 18. The rhythm guitarist had been suffering from dementia in recent years. According to an official band statement, he "passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside." He was 64 years old.
Young co-founded the legendary Australian rock group in 1973 alongside brother, lead guitarist Angus Young. The Young brothers formed one of the more formidable twin-guitar duos in rock and roll history. With lead vocalists Bon Scott, and later Brian Johnson, rounding out their sound, AC/DC would go on to serve an inimitable brand of high-octane hard-rock for more than four decades.
While Angus Young earned much of the six-string spotlight with his searing leads and patented school-boy outfit, it was Malcolm who was renowned as the band's dynamic creative force. He supplied the rock-solid rhythm guitar and powerful riffs throughout AC/DC's catalog, including classic songs such as "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "Highway To Hell," "Hells Bells," "Back In Black," "You Shook Me All Night Long," and "For Those About To Rock," among others.
With hit albums such as Powerage (1978), Highway To Hell (1979), Back In Black (1980), The Razors Edge (1990), and Black Ice (2008), AC/DC have sold more than 72 million albums in the United States, ranking them among the top-selling artists in music, according to the RIAA.
AC/DC earned their first career GRAMMY nomination for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal Or Instrumental for Blow Up Your Video at the 31st GRAMMY Awards in 1989. The group would score six additional nominations in subsequent years, landing their first win for Best Hard Rock Performance for "War Machine" at the 52nd GRAMMY Awards in 2010.
I have to go...I am losing it that Malcolm is gone. I hate this...
— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) November 18, 2017
Malcolm Young's battle with dementia forced him to retire from AC/DC in 2014. His last appearance on the concert stage was in June 2010 in Bilbao, Spain, during the group's tour in support of Black Ice, a GRAMMY nominee for Best Rock Album.
Back In Black, labeled as one of the most influential albums in rock history, was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2013.
"Malcolm Young was one of the most important rhythm guitarists in the history of hard rock," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "Young will be dearly missed, but remembered for his passion, pride, and unwavering dedication to his musical craft."
"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," Angus Young said. "He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done."