Beastie Boys

1981-
Mike Diamond (Mike D)
Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock)
Adam Yauch (MCA)
  • Songs
  • Artistfacts ®
  • In 1987, Licensed To Ill became the first rap album to hit #1 in the US.
  • They started their own record label, Grand Royal, in 1993 with Luscious Jackson the first signing; they shut it down due to financial difficulty in 2001. Other artists on the label included Sean Lennon and Atari Teenage Riot.
  • Early on, they were a hardcore band, but the rapping soon became the focus of their shows. Kate Shellenbach (later of Luscious Jackson) and John Barry were also in the group when they started.
  • Horovitz married actress Ione Skye in 1992. They divorced in 1998.
  • Dr. Dre from Yo! MTV Raps was their DJ before hosting the show for MTV.
  • They are from New York City. They are all Jewish, but both Adams are half-jewish, and they never were brought up with religious traditions.
  • They opened shows for Madonna in 1985 and Run DMC in 1986. Predictably, their sets didn't go over well with Madonna's fans, but she kept them on the bill anyway. Horovitz explained in the book I Want My MTV: "The audience's hatred for us worked in her favor. When she got onstage, they couldn't have been happier to see her."
  • Michael Diamond is married to director Tamra Davis (Billy Madison, Half-baked, Crossroads). Their dog Rufus, who unfortunately passed away, appeared in the Beastie Boys video "Sure Shot."
  • Horovitz acted in a few movies, notably Lost Angels and Roadside Prophets.
  • They are all New York Knicks basketball fans.
  • Horovitz and Jill Cuniff (ex-Luscious Jackson) studied together in the 5th grade.
  • The three of them lived together twice. The first place was a crappy apartment in Chinatown, before they were really famous. The second was soon after they moved to L.A. in the late '80s. They lived in a rented house they baptized the G-spot, because their owner was a nice old couple, the Grassholffs.
  • Yauch and Diamond both went to college. Yauch went to Bard but left after two years, and Diamond went to Vassar, but he gave up after six months. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Phoebe - Rome, Italy, for above 6
  • "MCA" stands for "Master of Ceremonies Adam."
  • The Beastie Boys have supported a variety of causes over the years. Some of the benefits they played were for Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier and AIDS. They organized the Tibetan Freedom Concerts, which started in 1996 to help liberate Tibet.
  • They have never allowed their music to be used in commercials, and are unlikely to ever do so, as Yauch stated in his will that he would like all future requests to be denied.
  • Adam Yauch died from cancer at the age of 47 on May 4, 2012.
  • The surviving two members of Beastie Boys announced in June 2014 that they were discontinuing the group, following the death of Yauch.
  • They signed with Def Jam records, but went to Columbia after their first album, Licensed to Ill, was released. This sparked a nasty lawsuit, with the group claiming Def Jam withheld earnings, and Def Jam asserting that Beastie Boys owed them seven more albums. Russell Simmons of Def Jam claimed that he was responsible for their success, since he got them on tours and in the movie Krush Groove, and made them credible in the black community. The legal entanglements delayed their second album, Paul's Boutique, until 1989 - three years after their debut.
  • When the group left Def Jam, the label enlisted Chuck D to create another Beastie Boys album made up of outtakes and other leftover bits. After the group signed with Capitol and released Paul's Boutique, Chuck abandoned the project, since it was clear the group was a serious rap act and not a clownish concoction. Chuck became one of the group's biggest supporters and inducted them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 10

  • Diverdriver from Petaluma, CaC.J., Tunkhannock, PA
    Mike D is not the brother of Dustin Diamond.
  • John from Cape Coral, FlProbably my 2nd fav band behind the Beatles. Whats really amazing is how they were able to mature their sound over the years, from their early hardcore days to the frat boy licensed to ill to the great pauls boutique to later stuff like check your head, which had jazzy/instrumental/groove type tracks on it plus they played their instruments. Lots of people never go past L2I but u definitely should.
  • Mojo from Freedom, NyThats amazing how they can pull off both rock and rap. Well, they're farking awesome, no doubt.
  • Jeevan from Brampton, CanadaBeastie Boys rock! They are such a cool band. I like a lot of their songs. They're especially cool because they are a rap and rock band.
  • Tony from Ottawa, CanadaWow, not much to say here. Just rename the band to "The Idiots."
    - Will, Mission, TX

    Dude, you're from Texas. That gives you no right to call anyone an idiot, idiot. Beasties were awesome.
  • Aestas from Dallas, TxMike Diamond and Dustin Diamond are *NOT* related. Just rumours.
  • Kieran from Harlow, United Statesis that true about mike diamond and dustin diamond?
  • Michael from New York City, NyAdam Horovitz is directly related (grandson, I believe) to the world renowned classical pianist Vladimir Horovitz.
  • C.j. from Tunkhannock, PaMike Diamond is Dustin Diamond's brother. He was screech on Saved by the bell.
  • Lorne from Toronto, CanadaThey were in an episode of Futurama in which Fry upon meating the band says "Wow the Beastie Boys, a 1000 years ago i had all 5 of your albums." Mike D responds "Ya but that was a 1000 years ago..." Adam Horovitz cuts in "Now we have 7."
see more comments

Penny Ford of Snap!Songwriter Interviews

The original voice of Snap!, this story is filled with angry drag queens, video impersonators and Chaka Khan.

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

The Punk Photography of Chris SteinSong Writing

Chris Stein of Blondie shares photos and stories from his book about the New York City punk scene.

Kip WingerSongwriter Interviews

The Winger frontman reveals the Led Zeppelin song he cribbed for "Seventeen," and explains how his passion for orchestra music informs his songwriting.

Tony Joe WhiteSongwriter Interviews

The writer of "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Polk Salad Annie" explains how he cooks up his Louisiana swamp rock.