On Saturday morning, sad news hit the music industry: AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young has died at age 64. Besides being the guitarist, Young cofounded the band with his brother Angus in 1973, according to Rolling Stone. AC/DC announced the news on their Facebook page in two separate posts. And fans are already mourning the musician on social media.
The Facebook announcement reads, in part:
"It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother. Malcolm had been suffering from Dementia for several years and passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside."
AC/DC's Facebook post described Young as a "driving force." They wrote, "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."
Young is survived by his wife O'Linda, according to the band's statement on Facebook. He also has two children, Cara and Ross, a son-in-law named Josh, and grandchildren. Beyond that, the family is asking for privacy and suggests donating to the Salvation Army in his memory, instead of sending flowers.
As fans may recall, he's been battling dementia for years. AC/DC announced in 2014 that Young was leaving the band due to the illness, according to CNN. In his absence, his nephew, Stevie, took his place on guitar as the band put out a new album without him. But as CNN reported at the time, the band's frontman Brian Johnson said of Young, "He's a fighter. He's in (the) hospital, but he's a fighter. We've got our fingers crossed that he'll get strong again." Those words are definitely harder to read now that he's passed, but the fighter aspect still rings true.
Angus spoke of Young's legacy in part of the Facebook statement on Saturday. He 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."
Making the news all the more heartbreaking, their older brother, George, who was a producer for the band's first five albums, passed away just last month at age 70, according to Rolling Stone.
It was in 2003 that AC/DC was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's official website also summarizes the band's impact on the industry as such, "AC/DC have carved out a niche somewhere between hard rock and heavy metal that's been an inspiration to aspiring musicians—and given us crank-up-the-volume radio staples." The site lists "Highway to Hell" and "Back in Black," arguably two of the band's biggest hits, among those radio staples.
Since the news broke on Saturday, Young's name trended on Twitter. Tons of fans are taking to social media to mourn the artist and honor his contributions to the music industry.
The band's own statement may sum up Young's impact best:
"Renowned for his musical prowess Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many. 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."
The outpouring of love and support on social media only further proves this to be true. He's already missed by many, many fans.