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Arts and Entertainment

Lemmy Kilmister, Motörhead Frontman, Dies At 70

Lemmy performs with Motörhead at Glastonbury in 2015. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
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Lemmy Kilmister, the frontman and bassist of the British heavy metal band Motörhead, has died. He died just four days after his 70th birthday.The news was first reported by Sirius/XM radio personality Eddie Trunk:

"Our mighty, noble friend Lemmy passed away today after a short battle with an extremely aggressive cancer," said a statement on Motörhead's official 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 its way down the street, with his family."

Kilmister was a longtime resident of West Hollywood and was said to frequent the Rainbow Bar & Grill.

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Born Ian Fraser Kilmister in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Lemmy's first brush with rock and roll immortality came in 1967, when he was just 22. He shared a London flat with Noel Redding, the bassist of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and became a roadie for the band. He later joined the pioneering space rock band Hawkwind, but was kicked out in 1975 after being busted at the Canadian border for what authorities thought was cocaine. It turned out to be speed, which was not illegal at the time.

Later that year he formed the band Motörhead, of which he would be the sole constant member for their 40-year history. As their lead singer, bassist, and main songwriter, Kilmister would record 23 studio albums with Motörhead and continue to tour until the very end. In September the band embarked on a concert cruise they appropriately dubbed the Motörboat.

Through such classic songs as "Motörhead," "Overkill," "Killed By Death," and, of course, "The Ace of Spades," Motörhead were highly influential and thought of as progenitors of both punk and metal, though Kilmister was always hesitant to call his music anything other than simply rock and roll.

Aside from his music and iconic mutton chops, Kilmister was also known for his heavy appetite for alcohol and drugs. In an interview with The Guardian in August, he said he cut down to a pack of cigarettes a week and also switched from Jack and Coke to vodka and orange juice because of his diabetes. "Apparently I am still indestructible," he said.

Lemmy's death comes over a month after the death of Motörhead's original drummer Phil Taylor.

Friends and fellow musicians posted their remembrances of the Motörhead frontman when the news broke out:

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