Motörhead’s Lemmy Dies At 70

By May Wilkerson 12/29/15

The legendary ladies man who united punks and metalheads took his final bow yesterday.

Lemmy Kilmister
RIP Lemmy DFP Photographic /

Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, founding member and singer of legendary heavy metal band Motörhead, known for his hard partying, passed away yesterday at age 70 after a brief bout with cancer. Lemmy learned of the “extremely aggressive cancer” only day earlier on December 26 and died in his home, the band announced on their Facebook page. “We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words,” they wrote.

Lemmy’s famous hard-partying lifestyle had taken a severe toll on his health in recent years. In 2013, after years of heavy drinking, smoking and using speed, he announced that he was “cutting back” on drugs, alcohol and cigarettes after a health scare.“I suddenly realized I was waking up in pools of other people’s vomit, and I had no recollection of them,” said Lemmy at the time. “That’s a bit much. I’m not saying don’t have fun, don’t snort the occasional line—but don’t make it your life.”

He said he was drinking less and was down from 1-2 packs of Marlboros a day to just one or two cigarettes a day, as well as riding an exercise bike. “Let’s face it—it isn’t as much fun,” the singer admitted of his new lifestyle. “But it can’t be as much fun if I die. I don’t believe that’s much fun, either.”

About a year later, in 2014, Lemmy announced that he had switched from his drink-of-choice, whisky, to vodka due to some health problems, including diabetes. “Apparently I am still indestructible,” he added.

Motörhead released 23 studio albums throughout Lemmy’s illustrious career and are best known for their 1980 single "Ace of Spades." In the post announcing the singer’s death, the band asked fans to: “play Lemmy’s music LOUD. Have a drink or few. Share stories. Celebrate the LIFE this lovely, wonderful man celebrated so vibrantly himself.”

Current Motörhead drummer Mikkey Dee told Expressen: ”Motörhead is over, of course. Lemmy was Motörhead. But the band will live on in the memories of many.” According to Mikkey Dee, the band will cease touring and recording after Lemmy’s death.

”We won’t be doing any more tours or anything. And there won’t be any more records. But the brand survives, and Lemmy lives on in the hearts of everyone,” said Dee. 

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.