Lemmy Kilmister, bassist and lead vocalist of the legendary metal band Motörhead passed away Monday after a battle with cancer. Kilmister’s 70th birthday was on Christmas Eve. The band’s official Facebook page confirmed Kilmister’s passing.

“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 [Los Angeles bar] The Rainbow which had recently made it’s [sic] way down the street, with his family,” the statement continued. “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.”

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, December 28, 2015

 

Lemmy was born Ian Kilmister. He got his start in music as a roadie for the Jimi Hendrix Experience because he shared an apartment with bassist Noel Redding. By 1972, Kilmister joined the space-rock band Hawkwind, serving as their bassist for three years, including their landmark live LP, 1973’s Space Ritual. However, by 1975, Kilmister was tossed out of Hawkwind and he and his distinctly gravelly voice began fronting his own project: Motörhead. The band took its name from the song “Motorhead,” a Hawkwind B-side that Kilmister wrote and later refurbished for Motörhead’s 1977 self-titled debut.

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