Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica & More Mourn Death of Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister

Lemmy of British Heavy Metal band Motorhead and Meatloaf photographed on March 27, 2000.  

Steve Rapport/Photoshot/Getty Images

Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister passed away Monday (Dec. 28) after a short battle with cancer. The hard rock icon was 70 years old. Despite recent health issues affecting the band's 2015 tour dates, Kilmister soldiered on, performing shows almost until the end. According to the band's Facebook, Kilmister only learned of his aggressive cancer on Dec. 26.

Lemmy Kilmister Dead at 70

With the news of his unexpected death going wide, friends and fellow rockers are paying homage to one of the most distinctive voices in metal. 

"Lemmy was the finest of gentlemen. Back in 1979 when I was 16 years old, I heard Overkill for the first time. I thought it was the fastest thing I'd ever heard, and I declared to all my friends that Motörhead were the fastest band in the land. 

"When I had first seen pictures of what these guys looked like, I noticed a certain authenticity about them: I imagined they lived the way they looked and looked the way they lived. And I remember very distinctly having a realization that moment -- I realized that it was okay to be an outsider, and that it was okay to not feel like I had to conform to anything that I objected to in my teenage life, because clearly the Motörhead guys in this picture looked like they didn't conform to anything  at all. And boy, it sure looked and sounded like they were enjoying themselves as a result. 

"So I got a lot from that pic, and that massive sound, and that attitude. And I have to thank Lemmy, Fast Eddie [Clarke, guitarist 1976-83] and also the recently departed Philthy Animal [Phil Taylor, drummer, 1976-84, 1987-92] for the inspiration, spark and fire that I felt so strongly from that night in 1979. That inspiration will always be with me, and may the music of Motörhead live on!" -- Kirk Hammett, Metallica

"Lemmy was loved and respected all over the world by fans and bands alike. He was as real as Rock and Roll and brought joy to millions. His was a life lived hard and lived well. And loud!" -- Henry Rollins

"Grammy winner Lemmy Kilmister was a remarkable frontman and bona fide heavy metal icon. A founding member of the legendary group Motörhead, Lemmy’s raw, powerful vocals, paired with his innovative bass playing and songwriting skills, made him one of the most prominent figures in rock and roll. His magnetic stage presence and willingness to break barriers propelled the metal genre to new heights, influencing countless fellow musicians in the process. We have lost a truly dynamic member of the music community and our sincerest condolences go out to Lemmy’s family, friends, collaborators and all who have been impacted by his work." -- Neil Portnow (President/CEO, The Recording Academy)

"My dear friend Lemmy was and always be a rock icon. His music will live forever. Lemmy was loved by all musicians and rockers and he now will rock out in heaven with his friend Jack Daniels. We will all miss him and never forget his legacy." -- Jerry Greenberg (music executive, former Atlantic Records president)