The Beastie Boys were an American hip hop group from New York City formed in 1979. The group was composed of Michael “Mike D” Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam “MCA” Yauch (vocals, bass) and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz (vocals, guitar, programming).
The Beastie Boys were formed as a four-piece hardcore punk band, the Young Aborigines, in 1978 by Mike D (vocals), MCA (bass), John Berry (guitar) and Kate Schellenbach (drums). They appeared on the compilation cassette New York Thrash, contributing two songs from their first EP, Polly Wog Stew, in 1982. Berry left shortly thereafter and was replaced by Horovitz. After achieving local success with the 1983 experimental hip hop single “Cooky Puss”, the Beastie Boys made a full transition to hip hop, and Schellenbach left the group soon after. They toured with Madonna in 1985 and a year later released their debut album Licensed to Ill.
The Beastie Boys have sold 26 million records in the United States and 50 million records worldwide, making them the biggest-selling rap group since Billboard began recording sales in 1991. With seven platinum-selling albums from 1986 to 2004, the Beastie Boys were one of the longest-lived hip hop acts worldwide. In 2012, they became the third rap group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the same year, MCA died of cancer. In 2014, Mike D confirmed that the Beastie Boys had disbanded.