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Beastie Boys

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The Beastie Boys biography begins in 1981 when the group was founded in New York City. The trio, consisting of Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch and Michael Diamond, performed under the stage names of Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D, respectively. Although the group is well known as the first successful white rap group, the Beastie Boys actually started out as a hardcore punk band. After achieving moderate success in their first few years, the group met record producer Rick Rubin, founder of Def Jam Records. By the mid 1980s, the Beastie Boys switched completely from punk rock to hip-hop music, releasing the raunchy Licensed to Ill album in 1986. The album was a phenomenal success, eventually becoming the top selling rap album of the 1980s. After the success of Licensed to Ill and a subsequent tour in support of the album, the Beastie Boys signed with Capitol Records and released Paul's Boutique in 1989. Although the album was not as successful as the group's previous effort, it was critically acclaimed and established the Beastie Boys as a slightly more mature group. From 1992 to 2011, the group went on to release six more albums, including the highly successful Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty. The Beastie Boys won two Grammy awards in 1999 for their work on Hello Nasty in the categories of 'Best Rap Performance of a Duo or Group' and 'Best Alternative Performance', as well as a 'Best Pop Instrumental Album' Grammy in 2008 for The Mix-Up. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 14, 2012, less than one month before member Adam Yauch died from cancer at the age of 47.