Malcolm Young, guitarist and co-founder of the legendary Australian hard rock band AC/DC, has died at the age of 64.
He had been suffering from dementia for at least the past three years.
Malcolm died peacefully on Saturday with his family by his bedside, a statement said.
“Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” AC/DC 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.”
Malcolm‘s brother Angus said they were close until the end.
“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 said. “He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever.”
In a separate statement to Australia’s SBS, the band said: “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.”
Malcolm Young struggled with the onset of dementia for a period of time prior to being admitted to full-time nursing care in Sydney, Australia beginning in 2014.
Malcolm was replaced in AC/DC by Stevie Young, nephew of Malcolm and AC/DC guitarist Angus Young.
“We miss Malcolm, obviously,” AC/DC singer Brian Johnson told TeamRock Radio in July 2014. “He’s a fighter. He’s in hospital, but he’s a fighter. We’ve got our fingers crossed that he’ll get strong again.
“Stevie, Malcolm‘s nephew, was magnificent, but when you’re recording with this thing hanging over you and your work mate isn’t well, it’s difficult. But I’m sure he was rooting for us. He’s such a strong man. He’s a small guy, but he’s very strong. He’s proud and he’s very private, so we can’t say too much.”
The Sydney Morning Herald reported in September 2014 that Malcolm was being treated in a nursing home in Sydney, Australia. The facility was believed to be Lulworth House in Elizabeth Bay. A Young family connection told the newspaper, “If you were in the room with [Malcolm] and walked out, then came back in one minute later, he wouldn’t remember who you are. He has a complete loss of short-term memory. His wife, O’Linda, has put him in full-time care.”
Malcolm did not participate in the recording sessions for AC/DC‘s latest studio album, “Rock Or Bust”, which arrived on December 2, 2014.
Stevie Young played with AC/DC once before during a 1988 tour, while Malcolm stepped out to deal with his dependency on alcohol.
Malcolm is survived by his wife, two children and three grandchildren.