Lemmy Kilmister, frontman of legendary pioneer metal band Motörhead, has died. Kilmister, 70, suffered from rare form of an extremely aggressive cancer that he had only known about for several days before his death. Kilmister will be remembered as a rock legend who left a profound influence on the music industry.
Kilmister had experienced a series of health concerns over the past several years, including complications from diabetes and the implantation of a heart defibrillator. According to a message posted by the band, Kilmister died peacefully: “There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Kilmister passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer,” they wrote on their Facebook page.
“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 [sic] way down the street, with his family,” they added. “We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words.”
Kilmister was born Ian Fraser Kilmister in Staffordshire, England. Motörhead was founded in 1975, and Kilmister was its only constant member. He was known for his powerful, gruff voice and skills as a bassist. The band has released 22 studio albums, the most recent of which, Bad Magic, was released in August of this year.
Since the news of his passing reached the media, many people, including Kilmister’s peers and fans, have expressed heartbreak. “Lost of one my best friends, Lemmy, today. He will be sadly missed. I will see you in the other side,” tweeted Ozzy Osbourne.
The band’s manager, Todd Singerman, told BBC that Lemmy “was one of the kindest men I ever met—he was the people’s man.” Singerman also shared fond memories and stories about his friend, who had lived hard as a young man and was fond of Jack Daniels whiskey: Singerman wrote that Kilmister had switched from whiskey to vodka and orange juice because it was “healthier.”
Kilmister will be greatly missed. “Rock ‘n roll heaven just got heavier,” said Alice Cooper.