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AC/DC Co-Founder Malcom Young Dead at Age 64

19 November 2017

He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted.

Young co-founded the band with his brother Angus in 1973. AC/DC was as electric as its name promised, and it played the hardest straight up rock and roll around. The Scottish-born Australian began his musical career after his older brother George, who died in October, achieved 1960s stardom with the Easybeats. It cites a prior interview with Angus that touched on Malcolm's condition: "Malcolm was always very organised [so] it was kind of unusual".

The rock community mourned Young's passing, with Slash from Guns N' Roses saying the AC/DC star was one of the best rhythm guitarists.

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The group signed with Atlantic Records in 1976 - they played New York's punk mecca CBGB on their first US tour - and their reputation grew quickly as albums followed in rapid succession: "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap", "Let There Be Rock", "Power Age". The band streamed across the rock skies like a comet. That's when it kind of, you know, hit me. In its materials, the Hall of Fame called the band's music "scorched-earth, metallic hard rock which has rarely deviated from a template of headbanging-inducing guitar riffs, flashy drums and banshee-yell vocals".

The band continued to gain speed with 1979's Highway to Hell, which sold more than a million copies worldwide. The band's original lead singer, Bon Scott, died in 1980. Singer Brian Johnson joined the band in Scott's stead; when Back in Black was released, it went to No. 4 on the Billboard album chart, and eventually sold 22 million copies in the US alone. "I toured with AC/DC on their "Stiff Upper Lip" tour".

Artists from following generations also chimed in with their tributes to the late rockstar.

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After "Back in Black", the band eased into a global superstardom that would continue for the next three decades. He was the group's rhythm guitarist until 2014, when the band announced he was taking a leave of absence for health reasons.

"It is a sad day in rock and roll", wrote guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

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AC/DC Co-Founder Malcom Young Dead at Age 64