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Motörhead frontman and former Hawkwind Lemmy bassist has passed away just four days after his seventieth birthday. The news was first announced on Twitter by radio presenter Eddie Trunk who announced ‘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,’ with Motörhead releasing a statement soon afterwards.
Lemmy, born Ian Kilmister in Staffordshire on Christmas Eve 1945, had died following a ‘short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer,’ the band revealed. ‘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.’
Lemmy’s musical career can be traced back to the mid-1960s when Kilmister was in the final days of his teens, but it was through his work with Hawkwind and, more significantly, Motörhead that he would become a rock icon. The band became a household name following the release of Ace of Spades in 1980, which soon became their signature tune and a Top 20 hit in the UK.
Fellow rock stars have paid tribute to Lemmy, with Black Sabbath legend Ozzy Osbourne stating, ‘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.’ Metallica, who covered Motörhead‘s Overkill in the mid-1990s, added, ‘Lemmy, you are one of the primary reasons this band exists. We’re forever grateful for all of your inspiration. RIP ‘
Posting a photo of himself in the studio with Lemmy, Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx said, ‘I’ll miss you buddy and our conversations. You were always a pilar (sic) of dignity.’ Michael Sweet of Christian rock pioneers Stryper offered his own recollections; ‘I met Lemmy in Germany and we talked about the Bible. I’ll never forget that. May god Bless Lemmy and the Motörhead family and fans worldwide!’
‘Tonight we lost a legend, no A FKN LEGEND. I also lost a friend and the ONLY musician that every year always wished me Happy Birthday,’ declared Riki Rachtman, who co-owned the legendary Los Angeles nightclub The Cathouse in the 1980s. He later added, ‘Look up next time you hear really loud thunder.’ Aerosmith drummer Joey Kramer offered his own rock ‘n’ roll tribute; ‘…heaven is Rockin tonight.’