DANVERS, Mass., May 20 (UPI) -- One of the original members of hip hop group the Beastie Boys, John Berry, has died. He was 52 years old.
Berry, who is credited with arriving at the the idea for the group's name, reportedly died early Thursday morning at a hospice in Danvers, Mass., according to Rolling Stone. His father, John Berry II, confirmed the news.
The deceased musician is said to have had frontal lobe dementia, which in recent months worsened.
Berry and three of his friends, including member Mike Diamond (Mike D), Adam Yauch and Kate Schellenbach, first launched the Beastie Boys as a hardcore punk band as teenagers in the early 1980s. He was featured as the guitarist on the group's first EP, Polly Wag Stew, before exiting the outfit. Schellenbach left the group as well soon after.
Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) ultimately replaced Berry in the band as it crossed over into rap, hip hop and commercial success as a trio. Meanwhile, Berry reportedly joined other bands over the years including Even Worse, Big Fat Love, Highway Stars and Bourbon Deluxe.
While accepting the band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, member Adam Horovitz -- while reading a speech written by the late Yauch -- mentioned Berry's contribution to the band in 2012.
"To John Berry, to John Berry's loft on 100th St. and Broadway, where John's dad would come busting in during our first practices screaming, 'Would you turn that [expletive] [expletive] off already?'"