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A legendary rock and roll guitarist has passed away, leaving the music world changed forever.

AC/DC co-founder and lead guitarist Malcom Young has passed on at the age of 64, Q13FOX reported. Young, who helped define rock music as we know it today, had been battling dementia for several years before succumbing to the brutal disease.

The Mayo Clinic describes dementia as:

Dementia isn’t a specific disease. Instead, dementia describes a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking and social abilities severely enough to interfere with daily functioning.

Though dementia generally involves memory loss, memory loss has different causes. So memory loss alone doesn’t mean you have dementia.

 Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of a progressive dementia in older adults, but there are a number of causes of dementia. Depending on the cause, some dementia symptoms can be reversed.

According to a statement from the band, Young was in his home surrounded by family when he passed.

“Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young.”

Young started AC/DC with his brother, Angus, in 1975 in Australia. The band was internationally known, and in 2003 earned their place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame among other music greats.

Image may contain: 1 person, playing a musical instrument, guitar, night and indoor

“His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed,” Angus wrote in a separate statement. “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.”

Angus also praised his brother for taking “great pride in all that he endeavored.”

“Renowned for his musical prowess Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many,” the band’s group statement said. “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, 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.”

AC/DC’s sound was described as “scorched-earth, metallic hard rock which has rarely deviated from a template of headbanging-inducing guitar riffs, flashy drums and banshee-yell vocals,” by the Hall of Fame at their induction ceremony.

“In the process, AC/DC have carved out a niche somewhere between hard rock and heavy metal that’s been an inspiration to aspiring musicians — and given us crank-up-the-volume radio staples ‘Back In Black,’ ‘Highway to Hell’ and ‘You Shook Me All Night Long,’” the hall of fame notes on its website.

In memorium of one of its founding members, AC/DC plans to create a website so fans can send messages to those closest to Malcolm.

Indeed, the music world lost one of its greats today.

AC/DC – Back In Black (Official Video)

YouTube video courtesy of acdcVEVO

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