Lemmy, Motorhead frontman, dies at 70 after cancer fight

Lemmy performs on stage with Motorhead in June 2015. Picture: PA

Lemmy performs on stage with Motorhead in June 2015. Picture: PA

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THE last surviving member of the classic Motörhead line-up has paid tribute to the band’s frontman Lemmy, who has died at 70.

The rock star, whose real name was Ian Kilmister, died just days after celebrating his birthday following the diagnosis of an“extremely aggressive cancer” on Boxing Day .

His death comes little more than a month after that of the band’s first drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Lemmy himself led tributes to the 61-year-old rocker, who died on 11 November.

Former Motörhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clarke, who played with the Heavy Metal group between 1976 and 1982, led tributes to Lemmy.

Clarke said on Facebook: “I have just been told that Lemmy has passed away in LA. Like Phil, he was like a brother to me. I am devastated. We did so much together, the three of us.

“The world seems a really empty place right now. I am having trouble finding the words… He will live on in our hearts. RIP Lemmy!”

A post on the band’s Facebook page, which was also shared by the band’s current drummer Mikkey Dee, said: “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.

READ MORE - Lemmy tells of pride at Scots roots

“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. Share stories. Celebrate the life this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself. He would want exactly that.”

The rock music world reacted with shock at the news.

Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister, who has died at the age of 70, pictured in February 2015. Picture: Getty Images

Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister, who has died at the age of 70, pictured in February 2015. Picture: Getty Images

Ozzy Osbourne, of Black Sabbath fame, tweeted: “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.”

Kiss star Gene Simmons said: “Lemmy: Rest In Peace. Shake the heavens, my friend.”

Queen guitarist Brian May said: “Sitting here, Re-Tweeting, distracted, and wondering what I can possibly say about our utterly unique friend Lemmy’s passing. Ouch.”

Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan added: “Rest In Peace Lemmy. A hell of a man who suffered no fools. U shall be missed brother, and, thank u 4 the years of unwavering kick ass R&R.”

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

Motorhead statement

Lemmy, who was born in Stoke-on-Trent on Christmas Eve 1945, founded Motörhead in 1975 after being fired from previous band Hawkwind.

According to the band’s website, his exit followed his arrest at the Canadian border for possessing cocaine, causing the band to cancel dates on a US tour.

He remained proud of his Scottish roots throughout his life, keeping his clan crest alongside his gold discs.

He told a documentary shown on BBC Four: ‘This apartment is like a f***ing museum – well, it is a museum, really.”

He aded: “I’ve seen museums with less s*** in them than I’ve got.

“And this is my clan, Scottish Clan Fraser,’ he added, proudly pointing at a framed red and green tartan picture displaying the Fraser stag and the clan motto: Je Suis Prest – I Am Ready.

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