The Beastie Boys were forced to scrap a planned performance at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday night when rapper Adam ‘Mca’ Yauch pulled out of the event.
The trio was saluted by rap heavyweights Chuck D and LL Cool J but only Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz were on hand to accept the accolade.
Hours before the ceremony the group’s publicist released a statement which read: “Beastie Boys regret that Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch will be unable to join Mike ‘Mike D’ Diamond and Adam ‘Adrock’ Horovitz at the band’s induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
“Mike, Adam and Adam are truly grateful for the honor but with only two of the three Beastie Boys attending, they will unfortunately not be able to perform at the ceremony.”
Taking to the stage without his bandmate, Horovitz – alongside Diamond and longtime DJ sidekick Mixmaster Mike – read out a statement from Yauch, who thanked the Beastie Boys’ fans, writing: “This induction is as much ours as it us yours.”
No other reason was given for Yauch’s no-show, but the Beastie Boys star has been battling cancer in a salivary gland since the summer of 2009.
He wasn’t the only major no-show at the Hall of Fame celebrations – Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose declined his induction honor as a member of the band and announced he would not be attending the ceremony earlier this week, and Rod Stewart pulled out of a planned reunion with his old band The Faces, who were among the inductees, because of illness. He was replaced onstage by former Simply Red star Mick Hucknall, who flew in from England at short notice to perform.
The evening was also bittersweet for family members, friends and fans of late singer/songwriter Laura Nyro, songwriter/publisher Don Kirschner and dead bluesman Freddie King.
Sara Bareilles performed as part of a tribute to the former after Bette Midler inducted Nyro and her son Gil Bianchini accepted the accolade on his mother’s behalf, and ZZ Top stars Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons welcomed King to the Hall of Fame and handed his trophy to his daughter Wanda. Carole King inducted her friend Kirshner, who died last year, and Darlene Love performed King’s song Will You Love Me Tomorrow as a tribute.
Other inductees were folk legend Donovan, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and producers Cosimo Matassa, Glyn Johns and Tom Dowd.
Green Day kicked off the 27th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony with a tribute to Guns N’ Roses.