Rumors have been swirling this week that a co-founder of one of the best-selling rock 'n' roll bands in history is very sick. Finally, this morning, April 16, 2014, AC/DC posted this note on its official website: "After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group's diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.
"In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family's privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music."
Among the many media reports about Young being sick was one yesterday in The Daily Mail in the United Kingdom. That piece began, "A close friend of AC/DC's Malcolm Young said the 61-year-old guitarist is seriously ill and will never perform live again.
"Choirboys frontman Mark Gable said the founder of Australia's most successful rock band is physically unable to perform anymore and will probably never record again."
The Daily Mail story continued, "In an interview with ABC radio this morning, Mark confirmed that Malcolm was sick and that it was unlikely the band will perform together again. 'From what I understand, and it's even been confirmed in part by his son Ross, that it would appear Malcolm is unable to perform anymore,' he said.
"'It's not just that he is unwell, it's that it is quite serious. It will constitute that he definitely won't be able to perform live.'
"'He will probably not be able to record.'"
With some speculating how AC/DC could continue without Young, Gable told The Mail that another member of the Young family could step in. "Alex Young's son Stevie replaced Malcolm Young a few years back for a tour, and nobody knew the difference," he said.
Known for heavy metal anthems including "Highway to Hell," "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" and "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)," AC/DC was started in 1973 by Malcolm Young and his brother Angus. The band has experienced major changes before. Vocalist "Bon" Scott died in 1980, and was replaced by Brian Johnson.
According to AC/DC's official website, the band "has sold nearly 71 million albums in the U.S. alone, making AC/DC one of the five top-selling bands in American music history."
The website also notes that AC/DC is "Sony BMG Music Entertainment's #1 best-selling catalog act worldwide."
Malcolm Young in a picture from the official AC/DC website