Motörhead frontman Ian 'Lemmy' Kilmister dies aged 70 after short cancer battle

Motörhead frontman Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister has died aged 70, just days after being diagnosed with cancer.

The singer and bassist, who was born in Staffordshire in 1945, died on Monday after learning he was suffering from "an extremely aggressive cancer" on Boxing Day, the band said.

"We cannot begin to express our shock and sadness, there aren’t words," a post on Motörhead's website said.

Kilmister, who also helped form band Hawkwind, turned 70 on Christmas Eve and recently celebrated the landmark with a party in Los Angeles.

The British band was best known for hit song Ace of Spades.

Lemmy (second right) with Motörhead members (left to right) Phil Campbell, Phil Taylor and Michael Burston Credit: PA

Ex-guitarist "Fast" Eddie Clarke, who played with the group between 1976 and 1982, led tributes to Lemmy.

He wrote on Facebook: "I have just been told that Lemmy has passed away in LA. Like Phil, he was like a brother to me. I am devastated. We did so much together, the three of us.

"The world seems a really empty place right now. I am having trouble finding the words ... He will live on in our hearts. R.I.P Lemmy!"

In their post, the band wrote: "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 learnt of the disease on December 26th, and was at home, sitting in front of his favorite video game from The Rainbow which had recently made it’s way down the street, with his family.

"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. HE WOULD WANT EXACTLY THAT.

"Born to lose, lived to win."

Following news of Lemmy's death, stars of music and entertainment paid tribute to the musician.

Fellow rocker Alice Cooper called him "one of the most beloved characters in rock'n roll".

Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol and WWE wrestler Triple H, who used Motörhead songs as his entrance music, have also paid tribute.

Lemmy formed Motörhead in 1975 and the group released its self-titled debut album in 1977.

The band had an upcoming tour in the UK and across Europe in 2016.

Former drummer Phil Taylor died aged 61 in November.

Lemmy on stage in Berlin in 2011. Credit: PA