Rock legend Lemmy of Motorhead dies at 70

Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister of Motorhead © Dylan Martinez
The world of heavy metal music was in shock Tuesday as news came of the death of Lemmy Kilmister, the iconic lead singer of Motorhead – a band that for more than 40 years was responsible for tearing speakers apart with blistering power metal riffs.

Motorhead was responsible for some of the most memorable heavy metal hits, including 'Ace of Spades,' Killed by Death,' 'Motorhead,' 'Bomber,' and 'Overkill’… the list goes on and on. Diehard fans will also know the musician by his previous, no less significant, band – Hawkwind.

Known everywhere by his stage name – Lemmy, Fraser Kilmister's life was a whirlwind of rock-star habits that threatened an early grave. But in the end, it was cancer that finally got the rock star at the age of 70.

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Lemmy was in a select band of bad-boy rock stars – only a few of whom are still alive today: Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards, the legendary Ozzy Osbourne, and Deep Purple’s Ritchie Blackmore. All at one point or another were infamous for a lifestyle of drugs, booze and partying.

According to a Facebook post by the Motorhead band, Lemmy learned he was suffering from a particularly nasty form of cancer only on December 26 – just two days before his death.

There is no easy way to say this…our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely...

Posted by Official Motörhead on Monday, 28 December 2015

Not much else is known about the circumstances of Lemmy’s death. It was first confirmed by radio personality Eddie Trunk on Twitter.

Condolences came from near and far, including some of Lemmy’s closest rock-star friends, as well as musicians who have had their entire sound molded by the metal legend. Ozzy, Dave Navarro and Kiss’ Gene Simmons all joined in to pay their respects.

Motorhead first achieved true stardom with 'Ace of Spades' in 1980. The album reached number four in the UK.

At the time of Lemmy’s death, the band was set to go on a world tour that would last throughout the coming months. Sadly, Lemmy didn’t get the last chance to wow hundreds of thousands of screaming fans with his uniquely catchy and simple guitar hooks, unmatched energy and raw charisma. For many fans, his music will rock through the ages.