Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead Dead at 70 Years Old
UPDATE, 9:25pm EST: Dozens of metal musicians and personalities have posted tributes to Lemmy, including members of Black Sabbath, Pantera, Megadeth, Anthrax, Periphery, Ratt, Guns N’ Roses, KISS, Hatebreed, Motley Crue and SO many more. Read those here.
We wish this were just a rumor, but the unimaginable has finally happened: Lemmy has died.
He was 70 years old, and had been battling “an extremely aggressive form of cancer” which he had only learned about on December 26th, just two days ago. He died peacefully at home.
Longtime radio and TV personality Eddie Trunk first broke the news at 7:19pm EST via 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
Ozzy Osbourne confirmed it with a quick note of his own a few minutes later:
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.
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) December 29, 2015
After which Motorhead posted a short tribute on their official 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 it’s 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.
Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister
Born to lose, lived to win.
Lemmy had been fighting through a number of health ailments in recent years, the most recent of which — a lung infection — forced the cancelation of several shows this past summer. He was a notorious hard-partier and drinker throughout his life, but joked recently that he’d switched from Jack Daniels to vodka to cut down on sugar.
Former Motorhead drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor passed away in November, and rumors circulated a short while later — which thankfully ended up being untrue — that guitarist Phil Campbell had passed as well.
We saw Motorhead perform in New York shortly after this summer’s cancelations, and we’d be lying if we said he was in good shape; he seemed tired and often sounded winded, and didn’t move much from his perch behind the microphone. But the show was still amazingly engaging, testament to not only the power of Motorhead’s music and live performance but to Lemmy’s will to play ROCK AND FUCKING ROLL.
Our thoughts are with Lemmy’s family, friends and Motorhead fans worldwide. This is not an easy one, and we’re still processing. But we think that the only fitting tribute to Lemmy’s life is to go out and do what his bandmates say: celebrate life! In whatever ways you can.
We’ll update you all as we learn more about the circumstances surrounding Lemmy’s death.