AC/DC has officially announced a hiatus for Malcolm Young, confirming that the founding rhythm guitarist is "taking a break from the band due to ill health." However, the group says they "will continue to make music."

Rumors have been swirling about both Young, brother of AC/DC's lead guitarist Angus Young, and the future of the band since a friend said the 61-year-old Malcolm Young was "unable to perform anymore," perhaps after a stroke. Today the band addressed these reports with the following statement on their Facebook page:

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.

Initially, sources denied that AC/DC was retiring. Earlier today, frontman Brian Johnson said an unidentified member of the band was, in fact, ill but that AC/DC was planning to convene again in May for a music-making sessions. How all of this impacts a possible 40th anniversary concert tour remains unknown.

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