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Via | HipHopDX

DANVERS, MA – Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock would never have been the Beastie Boys without their friend John Berry, who passed away yesterday (May 19) at the age of 52, Rolling Stone reports. He died at approximately 7:30 in the morning at a hospice in Danvers, MA after living with frontal lobe dementia, according to his father.

Berry, the founding guitarist of the Beastie Boys, is credited with coming up with the group’s name while the members were in high school.

The Beastie Boys formed in 1981 with Berry and his high school classmate Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “MCA” Yauch along with drummer Kate Schellenbach.

Berry left the group soon after it recorded Polly Wog Stew in 1982. The project was the Beastie Boys’ first seven-inch EP. Schellenbach left in 1983 and that’s when Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz joined.

The group went on to have multiple platinum records, including its debut album, Licensed to Ill, which has sold more than 10 million copies to date.

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