John Berry, original member of the Beastie Boys, died at the age of 52.The guitarist passed away on Thursday morning at a hospice in Danvers, Massachusetts at 7:30 am, according to a report from Rolling Stone.The music publication got confirmation of the musician's death via his father, John Berry III, who said his son had been suffering from frontal lobe dementia.
The father also said that the condition, which is a form of dementia that occurs when the frontal lobes of the brain begin to shrink, had worsened in recent months.Not only was Berry one of the founding members of the group, but he is also credited for coming up with the Beastie Boys name.
The band was originally formed as a four-piece hardcore punk band named The Young Aborigines in 1978.John attended the Walden School in New York with Mike Diamond as they were joined by Adam Yauch and Kate Schellenbach.
The band's first shows took place at Berry's old loft on the corner of West 100th Street and Broadway in Manhattan's Upper West Side, according to Rolling Stone.
Berry also played on their first seven-inch EP Polly Wog Stew which was released in 1982.
He left the group shortly after the release and was followed by Schellenbach in 1983 before Adam Horovitz.
Back in 2012, Yauch died at the age of 47 after being diagnosed with cancer in 2009.
During the Beastie Boys induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2012, Horowitz read a letter from Yauch, who was unable to attend.
In it 'MCA' thanked Berry for his contributions and even mentioned John's father as it read: 'To Kate Schellenbach and John Berry. To John Berry's loft on 100th Street and Broadway where John's dad would come in during our first practises screaming "will you turn that f***ing s*** off already."'
The Beastie Boys went on to release eight studio albums, win several awards including three Grammys and are considered widely as one of the most legendary hip-hop acts of all-time.