Motörhead frontman Lemmy dies aged 70

The rock legend passed away just two days after learning he had cancer, his band have confirmed

Rock legend Lemmy has died aged 70, just two days after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.


The Motörhead frontman’s band confirmed his passing on Facebook, writing: “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 favourite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made it’s way down the street, with his family.”

They added: “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.”

Lemmy – real name Ian Kilmister – was born on 24th December 1945 and began his music career in the early 1960s, spending a brief spell as a roadie for Jimmi Hendrix.

He had a stint as a bassist in rock band Hawkwind, but was fired in 1975 following his arrest for drug possession during a tour of Canada. He formed Motörhead in June of that year “so that no-one can fire me again”, recruiting drummer Lucas Fox and guitarist Larry Wallis, before replacing both with Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor and “Fast” Eddie Clarke respectively. 

The trio are considered Motörhead’s most successful line-up with their fourth album, 1980’s Ace of Spades, peaking at number four and its title track staying in the UK charts for 12 weeks.

Motörhead went on to release a further 17 albums, including 2015’s Bad Magic and played at Glastonbury earlier this year.


Lemmy had celebrated his 70th birthday on Christmas Eve and has been the subject of numerous tributes from fellow rockers and musicians including Gene Simmons, Ice T and Ozzy Osbourne.