Lemmy Kilmister, the lead singer and bassist of Motörhead and a heavy metal icon for six decades, passed away Monday after a battle with cancer. Kilmister turned 70 on Christmas Eve. The band’s official Facebook confirmed Kilmister’s passing, “There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer.”
“He had learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made it’s way down the street, with his family,” the statement continued. “We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words. We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD. Have a drink or few. Share stories. Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself. HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.”
Many of Kilmister’s heavy metal brethren and artists he inspried took to Twitter to pay tribute to the inimitable artist. Radio personality Eddie Trunk was the first to report Kilmister’s passing, “Sorry to report that I have confirmed Lemmy has passed away just now at the age of 70. RIP to a true original icon of rock.”
“Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today,” Ozzy Osbourne tweeted. “He will be sadly missed. He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side.” Mark Lanegan tweeted, “Rip Lemmy. Seeing Motörhead at the Yakima Speedway on ace of spades tour changed my life. So sad.”
Kilmister had suffered from numerous health ailments in the past year, resulting in a series of postponed concerts. Lemmy was fitted with a pacemaker in 2013 and suffered from hematoma in 2014. Despite his ailments and 40 years of heavy drinking and hard living, the “Ace of Bands” continued to tour at a heavy volume as they supported their latest album Bad Magic. This year, Motörhead gig were postponed for reasons ranging from Lemmy’s bad back to him suffering from altitude sickness.
“I’m all right, you know,” Kilmister told Rolling Stone in August. “I’m not dying yet.”
Kilmister’s death comes just a month after former Motörhead drummer Phil Taylor passed away at 61.
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