Ian Fraser Kilmister, a.k.a. Lemmy, known for leading the metal band Motörhead for 40 years, died Monday, just four days after turning 70.
Rock radio DJ and host of That Metal Show Eddie Trunk confirmed Kilmister's death from an aggressive cancer Monday afternoon on Twitter:
After several decades of hard living, Kilmister had been dealing with health issues throughout 2015, culminating in a September show in Austin, Texas where he had to walk off stage after playing only three songs.
Born on Christmas Eve in a small English town, Kilmister would go on to live a legendary rock 'n' roll life, starting with his time as a roadie for electric guitar pioneer Jimi Hendrix. Of those days, Kilmister would comment that one of his jobs was to buy Hendrix LSD, which he always shared.
After a stint as a guitarist in groups such as the Rockin' Vicars and Sam Gopal, Kilmister would find his calling as a bassist, picking up the instrument for the first time as a member of space-rock kings Hawkwind. Kilmister would stay with Hawkwind for three years, playing on notable albums as Doremi Fasol Latido and Space Ritual. He also sang on the band's biggest hit single, "Silver Machine."
Legal troubles and internal conflict would lead to Kilmister's exit/firing from Hawkwind, but it didn't take long before he founded Motörhead, named after a song he originally wrote for his former band.
Formed just as rock bands began to play faster and heavier, Motörhead would become one of the flagship bands in the quickly growing genre of "Heavy Metal." The band would cement its legacy as one of the genre's best with the release of the album Ace of Spades, its title track cited by many as one of metal's greatest songs.
The band, which turned 40 this year, would go through numerous lineups and play thousands of shows. The band's Facebook page confirmed its founder's death with this statement: