The metal icon has died, according to online reports, a mere days days after celebrating his 70th birthday. “Lost one of my best friends, Lemmy, today,” wrote Ozzy Osbourne on Twitter. “He will be sadly missed. He was a warrior and a legend. I will see you on the other side.”
UPDATE 7:55 p.m. EST: Motörhead have issued the following statement:
“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 The Rainbow which had recently made it’s way down the street, with his family.
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.
Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.
HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.
Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister 1945 -2015 Born to lose, lived to win.”
Last month, original Motörhead drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor passed away at the age of 61. Tonight’s news was first revealed by Eddie Trunk on Twitter, who wrote: “Sorry to report that I have confirmed Lemmy @myMotorhead has passed away just now at the age of 70. RIP to a true original icon of rock.”
Over a career that spanned several decades, Motörhead were a massively influential metal band that inspired generations of musicians.
Cracks started showing in the armor of the eternally Jack Daniel’s and Coke swilling, cigarette smoking Lemmy a couple years ago when an onset of heart problems required he be fit with a defibrillator and internal bleeding which necessitated surgery that supposedly brought him near death.
This year hasn’t been kind to Lemmy, as this past spring, Motörhead was forced to pull out of the Monsters of Rock festival in São Paulo, Brazil, “due to a food-related tummy problem,” suffered by Lemmy according to an official statement that might have been amusing at the time, but in retrospect, isn’t so funny.
In late June, while performing on the bill at the Glastonbury Festival, while the rest of the band was playing “Overkill,” the 69-year-old Lemmy sang two verses of the song “Ace of Spades” — which was the song they had just done. He later claimed it was a “mental block,” though more serious issues lay ahead.
A show in Salt Lake City, Utah, was canceled four songs in when Lemmy had breathing issues. “The air is just too thin,” went the official statement. “The high altitude makes it difficult for breathing.” A similar reason was given for the cancellation of a Denver show the following night along with Lemmy dealing with “a burst of altitude sickness.” Texas shows were up next, with the lower elevation providing more hope for fans. Unfortunately, after just completing just three songs in Austin on September 1, Lemmy stopped shortly after kicking into “Metropolis” and said, “I can’t do it.” He returned to the stage moments later and told the crowd, “You are one of the best gigs in America, and I would love to play for you, but I can’t… so please accept my apologies. Next time, all right?”
Cancellations of San Antonio, Dallas and Houston followed, attributed again to fallout from the lung infection “exacerbated by that Denver altitude” of days before, with the tour resuming a few nights later.