"We at Silva Artist Management are deeply saddened to confirm the passing of our friend and client, Adam Yauch," his managers said. "We ask for your patience and understanding as well as respect for the privacy of Adam's family."
A cause of death was not provided, but Yauch had been battling cancer since 2009 after a tumor was discovered in his salivary gland. Last year, in response to reports that said he was cancer-free, Yauch wrote on the band's website that he was "continuing treatment, staying optimistic and hoping to be cancer-free in the near future."
The rapper did not attend the Beastie Boys' Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in April, but the band did not give a reason. During the ceremony, his bandmates paid tribute to him and a letter from Yauch was read aloud.
Yauch founded the Beastie Boys in 1979 with friends Mike "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and Michael "Mix Master Mike" Schwartz. The hip-hop group's debut album, Licensed to Ill in 1986, was certified platinum the following year. The Beastie Boys has since released seven more studio albums; its most recent EP, 2011's Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, was delayed for Yauch's cancer treatments. Yauch won three Grammy awards with the group.
Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wangdu, and daughter, Tenzin.
A call and email to Yauch's rep were not immediately returned.