Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Malcolm Young( right) and his brother Angus( left) were driving forces behind the international success of AC/ DC

Australian guitarist and AC/ DC co-founder Malcolm Young has died aged 64 after a long battle with dementia.

He succumbed peacefully on Saturday with his family nearby, a statement said.

Young will be remembered for his powerful rhythm guitar riffs that were instrumental in propelling the Sydney heavy boulder group to stardom.

Three Young friends have been part of AC/ DC’s history, including lead guitarist Angus. Producer George Young died in October.

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“Renowned for his musical prowess, Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and idealist who inspired many, ” the statement read.

“From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every display. Nothing less would do for their fans.”

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption AC/ DC are one of the biggest heavy stone bands in the world

Fans and friends of Young have been posting their tributes to the popular musician on social media.

Tom Morello, of the US band Rage Against the Machine, tweeted his thanks to the “# 1 greatest rhythm guitarist”.