Lemmy was lead vocalist, bassist, principal songwriter and the founding, and the only constant member of MotÃ¶rhead since the band’s formation in 1975. To date, MotÃ¶rhead have released twenty studio albums and achieved 30 million in sales worldwide.
MotÃ¶rhead saw far more commercial success in the UK, though they achieved a cult status in the US. Their ferocious hard-rock style rejuvenated the metal genre in the late 1970s and inspired everyone from Metallica to Guns N’ Roses to Dave Grohl. Albums such as Ace of Spades, Orgasmatron, and Rock N’ Roll were critically lauded, though ironically the band’s only Grammy Award came via a cover of Metallica’s “Whiplash”, which they recorded for a tribute CD.
Kilmister had suffered from numerous health ailments in the past year, resulting in a series of postponed concerts. Lemmy was fitted with a pacemaker in 2013 and suffered from hematoma in 2014. Despite his ailments and 40 years of heavy drinking and hard living, the “Ace of Bands” continued to tour at a heavy volume as they supported their latest album Bad Magic. This year, MotÃ¶rhead gig were postponed for reasons ranging from Lemmy’s bad back to him suffering from altitude sickness.
Kilmister’s death comes just a month after former MotÃ¶rhead drummer Phil Taylor passed away at 61.