British rocker was a founding member of the heavy metal band
Lemmy Kilmister, the lead vocalist and founding member of Motörhead, died Monday in Los Angeles after a short battle with cancer, his manager Todd Singerman told TheWrap. Kilmister was 70.
The band’s official Facebook page also confirmed the news of his death at 4:50 p.m. PT on Monday, describing the frontman as “our mighty, noble friend.”
“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,” the message read. “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 its way down the street, with his family. We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words.”
Kilmister had suffered from well-publicized health issues, including hematoma and he had been fitted with an implantable defibrillator to correct an irregular heartbeat. In September, the frontman canceled a number of concerts after suffering complications from diabetes.
“We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy’s music LOUD,” the Motörhead Facebook page asked fans. “Have a drink or few. Share stories. Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.”
Ozzy Osbourne was one of the first members of the music world to pay tribute to Kilmister.
“Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today. He will be sadly missed. He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side,” Osbourne tweeted.
Born Ian Fraser Kilmister, the British rocker from Stoke-on-Trent, England, joined space rock band Hawkwind in 1972 as a bassist and vocalist.
He was fired from Hawkwind in 1975 after being arrested on drug charges in Canada, and went on to form a new band called Bastard with Larry Wallis and Lucas Fox in 1975, before changing the name to Motörhead.
The heavy metal band went on to achieve cult success in both the U.K. and U.S., released 20 studio albums and achieved 30 million in sales worldwide, including from the rock anthem “Ace of Spades” and hit live album “No Sleep ’til Hammersmith.”
Lemmy was lead vocalist, bassist, principal songwriter and the only constant member of Motörhead over the decades. Subsequent band members included Mikkey Dee, “Fast” Eddie Clarke and drummer
Watch Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” music video below.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.