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Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister dies aged 70 after cancer battle

Lemmy Kilmister, the founding member of iconic metal band Motorhead, has died aged 70 after a short battle with an aggressive form of cancer.

Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister dies

Lemmy Kilmister, the legendary frontman of heavy metal band Motorhead dies after a short battle with cancer.

The band released an emotional statement on Tuesday confirming the influential bassist had passed away.

"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," the band wrote on Facebook. 

Lemmy Kilmister at the Royal Opera House in London in 2004.
Lemmy Kilmister at the Royal Opera House in London in 2004. Photo: AP

"We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren't words."

Kilmister's passing comes just one month after the death of Motorhead drummer Phil Taylor.

In true rock and roll fashion, the band asked fans to blast Motorhead in Kilmister's honour.

We will say more in the coming days, but for now, please…play Motörhead loud, play Hawkwind loud, play Lemmy's music LOUD."

Motorhead - Phil Campbell, Lemmy and Mikkey Dee - at the 57th Grammy AWards.
Motorhead - Phil Campbell, Lemmy and Mikkey Dee - at the 57th Grammy AWards. Photo: Jason Merritt
 

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, 28 December 2015

The 70-year-old was seen as one of the most authentic voices in rock and roll and was incredibly influential in the second half of the 20th century.

He was the principal songwriter and lead vocalist for Motorhead, as well as former member of UK space rock band Hawkwind.

Kilmister celebrated his 70th birthday on Christmas Eve but had been suffering from a number of well-publicised health issues including an irregular heartbeat.

The rocker was known to frequent Melbourne's iconic Cherry Bar on AC/DC Lane when in town. Owner James Young said he was "devastated" by the news.

"This is an unbelievably sad day for rock and roll," Mr Young told Fairfax Media. "He's one of the greatest rock heroes of all time and sadly no one can possibly fill the void he leaves."

"He was absolutely one of a kind. The guy was a roadie for Jimi Hendrix, played in the loudest rock and roll band for 40 years and just did it his own way the whole way.

"To lose [Easybeats frontman] Stevie Wright and Lemmy in two days... I'm just shattered".

Born Ian Fraser Kilmister in Staffordshire, England in 1945, the rocker garnered the nickname of "Lemmy" after reportedly borrowing money from friends in school to feed his love of arcade games with the phrase "Lemmy a quid 'til Friday".

A music documentary on his life called Lemmy was released in 2010 and was lauded by critics as one of the greatest rock music documentaries of all time.

Tributes poured in for Kilmister following the news of his death, with Black Sabbath's Ozzy Osbourne mourning his close friend on Twitter.

"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," he wrote.

Blink-182's Travis Barker also penned a touching tribute to Kilmister on Instagram, writing: "You inspired many, through your music, may you live on forever".

Fans reflected on their encounters with the musician, describing Kilmister as an kind and generous man.

"I met Lemmy in an elevator at a music festival. Biggest hand I ever shook. RIP," one fan wrote."