British heavy metal legends IRON MAIDEN have paid tribute to iconic MOTÖRHEAD frontman Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, who died on Monday (December 28) at the age of 70 after a brief struggle with cancer.
In a message credited to all six band members and manager Rod Smallwood, MAIDEN said: "Lemmy, rest in peace… loudly!
"The world has lost a unique character. They don't build them like you anymore. But you played a great set.
"Our condolences to your family and friends and Motorheads everywhere.
"With much affection and respect."
Lemmy, who just celebrated his 70th birthday on Christmas Eve (December 24), learned two days later, on December 26, that he was afflicted with an aggressive form of cancer. He died two days later, on Monday (December 28) at his home in Los Angeles.
Lemmy had been dealing with serious health issues for the past two years, including getting a pacemaker in 2013 and suffering from a hematoma last year. But despite 40 years of hard living and drinking, he continued to tour and record at a feverish pace.
The band was forced to cancel or postpone a number of shows this year due to Lemmy's poor health, which also forced him to cut back on his drinking and give up smoking.
While MOTÖRHEAD itself was revered by metal and punk fans, Lemmy himself became a rock and roll icon and elder statesman, the embodiment of a musician who lived the rock lifestyle to the fullest and never stopped.