A "serious" illness will sideline AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young, the band announced Wednesday.

"After 40 years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health," the band wrote on its website. "Malcolm would like to thank the group's die-hard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support."

The news comes a day after the Internet caught fire with rumors that the band was retiring.

Although the band provided no details about Young's illness, close friend and Choirboys frontman Mark Gable told Australia's ABC Radio, "It's not just that he is unwell, it's that it is quite serious."

Young, 61, has been with AC/DC since it started in 1973, except for a brief break in 1988 when he received treatment for alcoholism, People magazine reported.

AC/DC also addressed the retirement rumors, saying, "The band will continue to make music."



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