The Beastie Boys were an American hip hop group from New York City, formed in 1980. For the majority of its career, the group consisted of Michael "Mike D" Diamond (vocals, drums), Adam "MCA" Yauch (vocals, bass) and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz (vocals, guitar).
Originally formed as a four-piece hardcore punk band, The Young Aborigines, in 1978 by Diamond (vocals), John Berry (guitar), Yauch (bass) and Kate Schellenbach (drums), the band appeared on the compilation cassette New York Thrash, before recording their first EP, Polly Wog Stew, in 1982. Berry left shortly thereafter, and was replaced by Horovitz. After achieving moderate local success with the 1983 experimental hip hop 12-inch "Cooky Puss", Schellenbach dropped out and the group made a full transition to hip hop, releasing a string of successful singles. The Beastie Boys toured with Madonna in 1985 and a year later released their debut album Licensed to Ill. The group sold 26 million albums in the United States and 50 million albums worldwide, making them, according to Billboard, "the biggest-selling rap group" since the magazine began recording sales data in 1991.