Band confirms AC/DC founder Malcolm Young dies at age 64

NEW YORK — Malcolm Young, the rhythm guitarist and guiding force behind the bawdy hard rock band AC/DC who helped create such head-banging anthems as “Highway to Hell,” ”Hells Bells” and “Back in Black,” has died. He was 64.

AC/DC announced the death Saturday on their official Facebook page and website. A representative for the band confirmed that the posts were true. The posts did not say when or where Young died, but said the performer had been suffering from dementia. He was diagnosed in 2014.

“It is with deepest sorrow that we inform you of the death of Malcolm Young, beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother. Malcolm had been suffering from Dementia for several years and passed away peacefully with his family by his bedside,” one of the posts read.

The family put out a statement posted on the band’s website calling Young a “visionary who inspired many.”

While Young’s younger brother, Angus, the group’s school-uniform-wearing lead guitarist, was the public face of the band, Malcolm Young was its key writer and leader, the member the rest of the band watched for onstage changes and cutoffs.

“It is a sad day in rock and roll. Malcolm Young was my friend and the heart and soul of AC/DC. I had some of the best times of my life with him on our 1984 European tour,” Eddie Van Halen tweeted on Saturday.

The Glasgow-born Young brothers — who moved to Sydney, Australia, with their parents, sister and five older brothers in 1963 — formed the band in 1973. They were inspired to choose the high-energy name AC/DC from the back of a sewing machine owned by their sister, Margaret.

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