Malcolm Young, who recently left AC/DC due to ill-health, is reportedly suffering from dementia.
61-year-old Malcolm Young, AC/DC guitarist and founder member, has been replaced in the band by his nephew, Stevie Young.
A family statement to People magazine said: “Malcolm is suffering from dementia and the family thanks you for respecting their privacy.”
AC/DC announced Malcolm Young’s departure last month but said they would go on without him and that their new album Rock Or Bust.
Rock or Bust will be released in December.
Malcolm Young formed AC/DC in 1973 with his younger brother Angus (photo PA)
Malcolm Young, who emigrated from Scotland to Australia at the age of 10 with his family, formed AC/DC in 1973 with his younger brother Angus, who has famously dressed as a schoolboy onstage for many years.
The band has previously survived the death of their singer when Bon Scott died in 1980 after a night of heavy drinking in London. He was replaced by Brian Johnson, who has remained as vocalist ever since.
They have been a huge draw on the rock circuit for decades, creating anthems such as Highway To Hell and Back In Black, although they have tended to have album rather than single success.
AC/DC’s songs were used as the soundtrack for the movie Iron Man2.
Their most recent release, 2008 chart-topper Black Ice, was only their third since 1990.
AC/DC have confirmed that they will not retire following news that guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break “due to ill health”.
It had been rumored the Australian rock band would split after a career spanning more than 40 years.
However, a statement on AC/DC’s website confirmed: “The band will continue to make music.”
AC/DC are one of the highest-grossing rock acts of all time, selling more than 200 million albums.
The band formed in Australia in 1973 and their biggest-selling record has been 1980’s Back In Black – the first with singer Brian Johnson after the death of former lead singer Bon Scott from alcohol poisoning.
They are noted for creating some of the best-known guitar riffs in the rock catalogue, accompanied by lyrics full of s**ual innuendo.
A message on the band’s website confirmed that Malcolm Young would be taking a break after “forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC”, but did not reveal details of his illness.
AC/DC have confirmed that they will not retire following news that Malcolm Young is taking a break due to ill health (photo Wikipedia)
“Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support,” said the band.
“In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time.”
Frontman Brian Johnson elaborated on their plans in an interview with The Telegraph.
“We are definitely getting together in May in Vancouver. We’re going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas. If anything happens, we’ll record it,” revealed Brian Johnson.
On the subject of touring he added: “I wouldn’t like to say anything either way about the future. I’m not ruling anything out.”
The Australian media had been awash with rumor and counter-rumor ahead of AC/DC’s announcement.
Glasgow-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young formed the band after moving to Australia with their family in the 1960s – Angus became famous for wearing a school uniform on stage.
AC/DC’s 15th international studio album, Black Ice, was an international hit following its release in 2008.
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