Influential British heavy metal band Motörhead’s groundbreaking style was heavy, hard, loud, and fast, paving the way for the emergence of speed and thrash metal.
∙ After cutting his teeth with several R&B outfits, frontman Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister joined prog-rockers Hawkwind and sang lead on their biggest hit, the 1972 single “Silver Machine.”
∙ Ozzy Osbourne called the title track of 1980’s Ace of Spades “one of the great metal anthems,” and Rolling Stone named the LP one of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
∙ Their sole No. 1 was the now-iconic 1982 live album No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith, which included their highest-charting single, “Motorhead,” a track originally written for Hawkwind.
∙ Lemmy wrote four songs on Ozzy Osbourne’s 1991 album, No More Tears, including the hit ballad “Mama, I’m Coming Home” and the Grammy-winning “I Don’t Want to Change the World.”
∙ Two of their four Grammy nominations were for Metallica covers, and their searing version of “Whiplash,” for 2005’s Metallic Attack: The Ultimate Tribute, earned them a trophy.
∙ After Lemmy’s death in 2015, tributes poured in from such rock icons as Dave Grohl and Paul Stanley, and Metallica tweeted, “Lemmy, you are one of the primary reasons this band exists.”
∙ To honor his influence on the genre, Lemmy was inducted into the Metal Hall of Fame in 2017, and the band was nominated for inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame three years later.