Legendary photographer for Beastie Boys, Run DMC, more, Ricky Powell, dies aged 59

Ricky Powell, a legendary hip-hop photographer who worked with Beastie Boys, Run DMC and many more, has died.

A prolific figure on the New York scene, Powell died of heart failure, aged 59. His manager and business partner Tono Radvany confirmed the news on 1st February, saying, “I just want to let everybody know he was a very special man, and he will be sorely missed”.

A close affiliate of Beastie Boys, Powell was sometimes referred to as the group’s fourth member, having even appeared in the video for ‘Fight For Your Right To Party’.  Powell also had a close relationship with Def Jam, frequently snapping artists from the label as their go-to photographer. 

Powell’s photographs have been published in several books, including Oh Snap!: The Rap Photography of Ricky Powell and Public Access: Ricky Powell Photographs 1985-2005. 

In 2020, a documentary, Ricky Powell: The Individualist, was released. 

Tributes have been paid for the legendary hip-hop photographer across social media, coming from the likes of A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, A-Trak, DJ Premiere and Chuck D.

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