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Heavy metal legend Lemmy Kilmister dies, aged 70

The Motörhead frontman passed away days after he was diagnosed with 'an extremely aggressive cancer'

29 December 2015, 7:52am
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, noting, "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 band added: "We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren't words."

They urged fans to play Lemmy's music loud and "have a drink or few", saying: "Celebrate the life this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.

"He would want exactly that."

Lemmy formed the rock group in 1975 and recorded 22 albums, including Ace of Spades, as he became one of music's most recognisable voices and faces.

Lemmy was born Ian Fraser Kilmister in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, in 1945. He acquired the nickname Lemmy while at school, although he claimed to have had no idea where it came from.

As Lemmy of Motorhead, he became known for his fast and furious bass guitar playing and gravelly voice.

Many of Kilmister's heavy metal brethren and artists he inspired took to Twitter to pay tribute to the inimitable artist. "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." Kilmister served as a co-writer on his friend Osbourne's 1991 LP No More Tears, including the hit "Mama, I'm Coming Home" and Grammy-winning "I Don't Want to Change the World." 

"We've lost a friend & legend," Foo Fighters wrote on their Facebook page. "My heart is broken. RIP Lemmy. Born To Lose, Lived To Win."

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