Malcolm Young, AC/DC Co-Founder and Guitar Savant, Dead at 64

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The maestro in action. Photo: Jim Steinfeldt/Getty Images

Malcolm Young, who co-founded the legendary hard-rock band AC/DC alongside his brother, Angus, and is generally regarded as one of the greatest guitarists to ever walk this planet, has died at the age of 64 following a multiyear battle with dementia. “Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” the band’s social-media accounts wrote in a statement. “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.” Angus separately added: “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.” Condolences have been pouring in from the music community since Saturday, showing the breadth of Young’s influence.

Young was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, alongside the other members of AC/DC. Rolling Stone notes that the band is the top-selling Australian musical act of all time, thanks to the Young brothers’ collaborative force of crafting some of the greatest songs in rock history — such as “Back in Black,” “Highway to Hell,” and “Hells Bells.” Young is survived by his wife, two children, and three grandchildren.

Malcolm Young, AC/DC Co-Founder and Guitar Savant, Is Dead