Ian Fraser Kilmister (24 December 1945 – 28 December 2015), better known as Lemmy, was an English musician and singer-songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. His music was one of the foundations of the heavy metal genre. He was known for his appearance (including his friendly mutton chops), his distinctive gravelly, "rasp[y]" singing voice, which "...was one of the most recognizable voices in rock", and his way of singing, looking up towards "...a towering microphone tilted down into his weather-beaten face". He was also known for his unmistakable bass playing style, in which he used his Rickenbacker bass to create an "overpowered, distorted rhythmic rumble". Another unique aspect of Lemmy's bass sound is that he often played power chords using growling overdriven Marshall tube bass stacks. Alongside his music career, he also had many minor roles and cameo appearances in film and television.
Lemmy was born in Stoke-on-Trent and grew up in Staffordshire and later North Wales. He was influenced by rock and roll and the early works of the Beatles, which led to him playing in several rock groups in the 1960s; including the Rockin' Vicars. He worked as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix and The Nice, before joining the space rock band Hawkwind in 1971, singing lead vocals on their hit "Silver Machine". After being fired from Hawkwind for drug possession in 1975, he founded Motörhead during the same year as the lead singer, bassist, songwriter and frontman. Motörhead's success peaked in 1980 and 1981 and included the hit single "Ace of Spades" and the top charting live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith. Lemmy continued to record and tour regularly with Motörhead until his death in December 2015 in Los Angeles, where he had lived since 1990. Aside from his musical activities, Lemmy was well known for his hard-living lifestyle, chain smoking, and regular consumption of alcohol (notably Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey) and amphetamines.
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