Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, the Motörhead frontman whose outsized persona made him a hero for generations of hard-rockers and metal-heads, has died.
Agent Andrew Goodfriend told The Associated Press that Kilmister died on Monday in Los Angeles after a brief battle with aggressive cancer.
The announcement of his death was posted on the band’s Facebook page:
“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 its way down the street, with his family.
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.
Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.
HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.”
Known simply as “Lemmy” to most, he was as famous for his moustache, mutton chops and the mole on his face as his music.
But he was deeply respected and revered as a rock master and innovator, from his time with the seminal psychedelic band Hawkwind in the early 1970s to his four decades in Motörhead, best known for their 1980 anthem “Ace of Spades.”
Each of the band’s legendary live shows would begin with Kilmister’s loud announcement: “We are Motörhead! We play rock and roll!”
Tributes have been pouring in for the rock legend. Ozzy Ozbourne tweeted, “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.”
Kiss frontman Gene Simmons tweeted, “Lemmy: Rest In Peace, my friend.”
Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe fame posted, “I’ll miss you buddy and our conversations. You were always a pilar of dignity. RIP #Lemmy”
Mark Beech, a British music journalist, tweeted that Lemmy had told him: “I will be killed by death. I might be killed by too much booze, women or music, but it’s not a bad way to die.”
Kilmister, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday on Christmas Eve, was scheduled to play with Motörhead in the UK and France in early 2016.