Whether it was for your right to party or the rights of Tibetans, rapper and activist Adam "MCA" Yauch inspired generations of music lovers to fight. The gravelly voiced co-founder of the hip-hop trio the Beastie Boys died of cancer May 4 in New York; though only 47, he had a career spanning almost three decades, in which he made perseverance fun. Originally industry outsiders, the Beasties became insiders when their 1986 debut Licensed to Ill became the first hip-hop album to top Billboard's charts. Despite the group's reputation as pranksters, Yauch was a serious, compassionate thinker. Praised as a director and producer, he was also a passionate activist, championing Tibetan independence in the '90s. After his diagnosis in 2009, the group released one last album, and weeks before his death they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Though unable to attend the ceremony, Yauch shared the honor with millions in a letter read onstage: "It's also for anyone who has ever been touched by our band."