Metallica’s James Hetfield Honors Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister With Tattoo Featuring Singer’s Ashes

While James Hetfield helped Metallica gain international fame and release 11 studio albums, the singer never forgot the performers that came before him. For Hetfield, there are few musicians who compare to the lead singer of  Motörhead, Lemmy Kilmister. Helping propel heavy metal into the spotlight, Kilmister passed away in December 2015 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although it has been nearly a decade since his passing, Hetfield recently paid tribute to his fellow rocker and friend with a special tattoo that features the rockstar’s ashes. 

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On Wednesday, Hetfield shared a post on Metallica’s Instagram page. The picture showcased Hetfield displaying his new tattoo, which happened to be on his middle finger. As for the tattoo, it featured the Ace of Spades. The singer captioned the post, writing, “With the steady hand of friend and tattoo artist @coreymillertattoo, this tattoo. A salute to my friend and inspiration Mr. Lemmy Kilmister. Without him, there would be NO Metallica.” Detailing the process that went into the unique tattoo, Hetfield added, “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.” 

[RELATED: James Hetfield Discusses His Love for Cigars and Breaking the Rules]

James Hetfield Discusses Impact Of Lemmy Kilmister’s Death

Gaining over 200,000 likes, fans filled the comments with support for the new ink. Comments included, “I wonder if anyone ever said to James ‘You know one of these days you’re gonna regret those tattoos cuz you’re not gonna be able to get a job!’” Another fan added, “And there’s still people who don’t understand why Lemmy and Motörhead are so important…”

Back in 2015, when Kilmister passed away, a service was held at Hollywood’s Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery. Speakers included Slash and even wrestler Triple H. As for Hetfield, he spoke with Kerrang! about the death of his friend. He admitted at the time, “My vision of him was as a statue of a man that was immortal. When he passed it scared me, like, ‘Where’s our captain now?’ He’s been a godfather to us. There’s no doubt that without him there wouldn’t be a Metallica. When he was around, it just felt like things were going to be okay.”

(Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

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