Eddie Van Halen and Ozzy Osbourne among many rock icons paying tribute to Young, who developed dementia about 10 years ago
The driving force behind rock band AC/DC, Malcolm Young, has died, aged 64.
Young devised many of the bands best-known guitar riffs, marking out tracks such as Back in Black, Highway to Hell and You Shook Me All Night Long and establishing them as one of the biggest rock acts of all time.
Three years ago the band announced Young was stepping down to receive treatment for dementia. Shortly afterwards he retired permanently, to be replaced by one of his nephews, Stevie, for the bands most recent tour.
Stevie had also briefly replaced his uncle on the Blow Up Your Video world tour in 1988 tour while Malcolm sought treatment for alcoholism.
Eddie Van Halen and Ozzy Osbourne are among many rock icons paying tribute to Young.
Van Halen has lamented on Twitter it was a sad day in rock and roll.
Malcolm Young was my friend and the heart and soul of AC/DC, he said. I had some of the best times of my life with him on our 1984 European tour. He will be missed and my deepest condolences to his family, bandmates and friends.
Osbourne, of Black Sabbath and solo fame, has also remembered Young as a friend.
So sad to learn of the passing of yet another friend, Malcolm Young. He will be sadly missed. God Bless @ACDC, the singer wrote on Twitter.
Others paying tribute to Young on social media include Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Kiss frontman Paul Stanley, Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and solo artist Ryan Adams.
From their first release in 1975, High Voltage, two years after the formation of the band, up until their final album, Rock or Bust, Young and his younger brother, Angus, were credited as co-writers on all AC/DC tracks.
Young was born in Glasgow in 1953, but his family emigrated to Sydney, Australia, 10 years later.
Youngs elder brother George found fame first with his band the Easybeats, before going on to produce for AC/DC. He died last month, aged 70.
Malcolm Young last performed live with AC/DC on tour in June 2010 at a concert in Bilbao, Spain.
An official statement was posted on the bands website confirming his death.
It is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young, it read. Malcolm, along with Angus, was the founder and creator of AC/DC. With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band.
AC/DCs eighth studio album, Back in Black, was released in 1980 and sold 50m copies, making it one of the worlds highest-selling albums.
The groups ninth album, For Those About to Rock We Salute You, was released in 1981 and was their first to reach No 1 in the US.