Malcolm Young, the guitarist and co-founder of rock and roll powerhouse AC/DC, died Saturday at the age of 64.
“Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” the band wrote in a statement.
“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,” the statement continued.
Malcolm’s brother, Angus Young, also spoke out about his brother’s death in the statement.
“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,” Young wrote.
Malcolm reportedly died peacefully Saturday with his family by his side after a battle with dementia that lasted several years.
“Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many," Young's family wrote in a separate statement. "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."
Young formed AC/DC, along with his brother, in 1973. Young played rhythm guitar to Angus’ lead. The group has sold more than 70 million albums in the U.S., according to reports. In September 2014, Young's worsening dementia forced him to leave the band.
He was replaced by his nephew, Stevie Young, for the band's 2015 world tour.
AC/DC was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. Their sound was described as "scorched-earth, metallic hard rock which has rarely deviated from a template of headbanging-inducing guitar riffs, flashy drums and banshee-yell vocals."
A number of celebrities took to social media Saturday to express their sadness at Young's death.