London: AC/DC founding member Malcolm Young has retired from the band owing to prolonged illness. The 61-year-old guitarist had taken a break from the band earlier this year, citing poor health conditions.
Now the band has announced that Young will not return as his health has not improved, reported BBC. "Earlier this year AC/DC released a statement explaining that due to illness, Malcolm would be taking a break from the band. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Malcolm's condition, he will not be returning to the band," read the Australian rocker's website.
The band said its new album 'Rock or Bust', which will release on December 2, would be the first in AC/DC's 41-year history not to feature Young on the recordings. It also announced it will embark on a Rock or Bust world tour in 2015.
Stevie Young, the nephew of founding members Malcolm and Angus Young, will accompany the band on tour after playing rhythm guitar on the album.
AC/DC, formed in 1973, is one of the highest-grossing rock acts of all time, selling more than 200 million albums. The rockers did not reveal details of his illness, but said, "Malcolm would like to thank the group's die hard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support."
AC/DC's biggest-selling record has been 1980's 'Back In Black', the first with singer Brian Johnson following the death of former lead singer Bon Scott from alcohol poisoning.