Lemmy, legendary Motörhead founder, dies aged 70

Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister has died at the age of 70, shortly after receiving diagnosis of an 'extremely aggressive' cancer, his band Motörhead have announced.

The band described their founder and sole constant member as "Born to lose, lived to win" in an emotional statement and exhorted their fans to "play Lemmy's music LOUD. Have a drink or a few. Share stories. Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.

"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 learned of the disease on 26 December, and was at home, sitting in front of his favourite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made its 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.

"Share stories.

"Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.


Lemmy founded Motörhead in 1975 after a three year stint with Hawkwind and the band went on to release 33 studio and live albums, clocking up more than 15 million sales worldwide.

Stars react

"Lemmy, you are one of the primary reasons this band exists. We're forever grateful for all of your inspiration. RIP"

"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."
Ozzy Osbourne

"We've lost a friend & legend. My heart is broken. RIP Lemmy. Born To Lose, Lived To Win."
Foo Fighters

"My friend died today. We'll all miss you. Your name was Lemmy, and you played Rock n Roll. Rest in Peace, my man.
Corey Taylor

"Lemmy was a true rock icon, singular in voice and spirit. Metal flags fly at half mast tonight as we salute the incomparable Ace Of Spades."
Tom Morello

"Words about Lemmy can never be enough so we will simply say farewell Lord Lemmy thank you for the music, the shows, the tours we did and the laughs and stories we shared - all of these and more will be cherished."
Judas Priest

"Lemmy, RIP - so sorry you're gone. I stand with the countless souls who will miss you, and who love you very much."
Bill Ward

"RIP my dear Staffordshire friend Lemmy... A beautiful Soul I tried many times to keep up with him at the bar or after hours back in 80's"
Glenn Hughes

"Oh my. Lemmy got let in on the big secret. One of the greatest rockers of all time. Amazingly unique incredible bass player. My hero. Wow."

"Never thought the day would come...Rest in power ‪#‎Lemmy‬ You are and will always be a rock god and one of the best to ever do it. You inspired many, through your music, may you live on forever"
Travis Barker

"Very sad to hear of Lemmy's passing. We've lost a true, true legend. RIP"
Geezer Butler

"Farewell Lemmy. I love you brother."
Dave Mustaine

"Saw a Motörhead car smash at Tower Records in '83. They were the link between the metal and punk crowds. RIP Lemmy!"
Mike McCready

"RIP Lemmy, what a true legend!"
Mark Tremonti

"I Am beyond Gutted with the news of Lemmy's passing... I've hated December's for awhile now & it just got a LOT worse....RIP my friends!!"
Rex Brown

"Lemmy: Rest In Peace. Shake the heavens, my friend."
Gene Simmons

"Lemmy was a legend he was also and most importantly a gentleman who's knowledge of music was greater than he let on. Rest in Peace."
Joe Bonamassa

"Lemmy RIP. Rebel. X"

"Lemmy, it was good to know ya. RIP"
Bryan Adams

"I'll miss you buddy and our conversations. You were always a pilar of dignity. RIP #Lemmy"
Nikki Sixx

"RIP, Lemmy...Thoughts & Prayers for his Family, Friends & Fans...:( "
David Coverdale

"R.I.P. Lemmy"
Joe Satriani

"Oh my god, Lemmy. What a hell of a ride you had. Nobody came close being the Rock God THAT YOU ARE. Shedding tears of metal for you Bud."
Butch Walker

"Lemmy.. the REAL thing! We had a few great hangs year ago I shall always cherish! RIP"
Steve Lukather

"RIP, Lemmy. So sad."
St. Vincent

"Goodbye #Lemmy what else is there to say? Goodbye @officialmotorhead rock n' roll will be a little less cool..."
Sebastian Bach

Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.