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Philthy Animal Taylor, longtime Motorhead drummer, dead at 61

Heavy metal band Motorhead says former drummer Phil (Philthy Animal) Taylor, an iconic metal thrasher, has died. He was 61.

Taylor played on band's best known work, including Ace of Spades

Heavy metal band Motorhead says former drummer Phil (Philthy Animal) Taylor, an iconic metal thrasher, has died. He was 61.

(Fast) Eddie Clarke, guitarist with the Grammy-winning rockers, said on Facebook that Taylor died late Wednesday.

He didn't disclose a cause of death, saying Thursday that Taylor "had been ill for some time but that does not make it any easier when the time finally comes."

He said Taylor was "one hell of a character."

Led by iconic frontman Lemmy Kilmister, Motorhead's best-known albums, including Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades and the live recording No Sleep 'til Hammersmith, featured Taylor on drums.

His distinctive double bass-drum style on tracks like Overkill helped define a new genre — thrash metal.

On Motorhead's Facebook page, the band paid tribute to "Lil' Philthy ... he who fuelled many a young boy's punk/metal hairstyles ... he who played the drums with fury and intent."

Ozzy Osbourne called his death a "terrible, terrible loss."

Taylor left the band in 1984, rejoined in 1987 and left again in 1992.

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