Metallica’s James Hetfield reveals Lemmy tribute tattoo with star’s ashes

Metallica's James Hetfield (left) and late Motorhead frontman Lemmy (right) Credit: AP

Metallica frontman James Hetfield has paid tribute to the late Motorhead star Lemmy by having his ashes tattooed into his finger.

Hetfield said that without Lemmy, who founded Motorhead and was the rock band's lead singer, bassist and main songwriter, Metallica would not exist.

"A salute to my friend and inspiration Mr. Lemmy Kilmister. Without him, there would be NO Metallica," Hetfield wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of his new tattoo.

"Black ink mixed with a pinch of his cremation ashes that were so graciously given to me. So now, he is still able to fly the bird at the world."

Hetfield showing off his latest tattoo on Instagram. Credit: Metallica / Instagram

The tattoo is a black ace of spades, as a nod to Motorhead's hugely successful fourth album and its title track.

The ace of spades, drawn within a cross, is on Hetfield's middle finger so that Lemmy could continue to "fly the bird at the world".

The band helped pioneer heavy metal music in Britain with a series of albums including the 1980 hit Ace Of Spades.

The Motorhead singer had suffered failing health since August 2015 and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer on Boxing Day that year, just 48 hours before he died.

His Hollywood funeral saw rock heavyweights including Nirvana and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash and Metallica members Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo pay tribute.

US rockers Metallica rose to become one of the biggest heavy metal bands in the world after forming in the 1980s.

The group, who have released a host of chart-topping albums, have previously discussed how Motorhead influenced their sound.

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