Ian Fraser ‘Lemmy‘ Kilmister, frontman of the legendary group Motörhead, has passed away at age 70.
TMZ report that Kilmister died “just after 4 pm Monday.” While an official cause of death has not yet been confirmed, Lemmy has made no secret of his serious health issues, many related to drinking, drugs and smoking. The news follows a decades-long battle with a myriad serious health problems, many of which were heart and liver related, including Type 2 diabetes, which he was diagnosed with in 2000.
After forming Motörhead in 1975, Staffordshire-born Lemmy and co. went on to become one of the best known and loved rock bands in metal history. Known for their wild live shows and even wilder on-the-road antics, they picked up an international cult fanbase, one that has remained with them to this day. As primary songwriter, singer and bassist in the band, Lemmy was the only Motörhead member to remain in the band throughout its entire existence. He leaves behind 20 albums and more than thirty million international record sales, not to mention being cited as a primary influence for countless bands including Foo Fighters, Metallica and Guns N Roses.
A hugely prolific musician and collaborator, his recording credits lie in the dozens, including writing some of Ozzy Osborne‘s best-known songs as a solo artist (notably the famous Mama I’m Coming Home), and performing, covering, and writing for The Ramones, Slayer and The Damned. In 2005, Motorhead won their first (and only) Grammy for Best Metal Performance, for their cover of Metallica’s Whiplash.
As SPIN points out, the news was first announced by radio presenter Eddie Trunk on Twitter:
Sorry to report that I have confirmed Lemmy @myMotorhead has passed away just now at the age of 70. RIP to a true original icon of rock.
— Eddie Trunk (@EddieTrunk) December 29, 2015
UPDATE: Motorhead have released an official statement on their Facebook page, in which they reveal the cause of death to be “extremely aggressive cancer”. More to follow.
The news follows last month’s tragic announcement that long-time Motörhead drummer, Phil Taylor, had also passed away at age 61.
I was lucky enough to catch Motörhead live once; an energetic and completely insane set from start to end, one that I’ll never forget. Lemmy will be remembered for his energy, his personality, his incredible game-changing music, and so much more.
Rest in peace.