John Berry, a founding member of hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, died on Thursday in a Massachusetts hospice, Rolling Stone magazine reported. He was 52.
His father told the magazine that his son suffered from dementia, which had recently worsened.
Berry came up with the Beastie Boys name and was one of the group's first members when it formed in 1981, the magazine said.
He joined Mike Diamond, Adam Yauch and Kate Schellenbach and played guitar on the band's first seven- inch EP, Polly Wog Stew, recorded in 1982. He left shortly after, before the group moved from punk to hip-hop music, Rolling Stone said.
Schellenbach also left after him and Adam Horowitz joined the band.
Berry was a member of several less well-known bands after he left, it added. Yauch died of cancer in 2012 aged 47.