We’ve seen reactions of grief over the early loss of Beastie Boys’ Adam Yaunch from celebrities, musicians, station staff and listeners. Now Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has released a statement about his death and his legacy of tireless advocacy for the Free Tibet movement.

The statement reads:

“As an artist, Adam Yauch changed the course of music; as a humanitarian, he changed lives. He was a creative genius who used his powerful platform and celebrity to address the cause of human rights for the people of Tibet. Adam Yauch was devotee of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and an agent of change.

“Adam Yauch’s concerts raised awareness on campuses across the country; what a beautiful sight it was in 1996, when he drew 100,000 people to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco for a concert to benefit the cause of freedom in Tibet. His knowledge of issues and his activism were deeply rooted in his values.

“I hope it is a comfort to the many who loved and admired Adam, especially his wife Dechen and his daughter Tenzin, that so many grieve their loss and are praying for them at this sad time.”

The concert Pelosi is referring to is the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park on June 15 & 16, 1996 featuring Beastie Boys, The Smashing Pumpkins, A Tribe Called Quest, Pavement, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, Sonic Youth, Beck, Foo Fighters, Björk, Fugees, No Doubt and more. It was able to raise $800,000 for The Milarepa Fund, founded by Yauch, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and activism to free Tibet from Chinese rule. The concert was followed by similiar concerts in New York City (1997), Washington D.C. (1998), Amsterdam, (East Troy) Wisconsin, Sydney, Tokyo (1999), Tokyo (2001), and Taipei (2003).

– Bradford Hornsby/CBS San Francisco


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