Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who co-founded the hard rock band, Van Halen, has passed away at the age of 65.
He died following a prolonged battle with cancer.
Van Halen’s family confirmed he died on Tuesday at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, according to TMZ.
He died with family by his side including his wife, Janie, his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, and his son Wolfgang, who plays bass for Van Halen.
Van Halen’s brother, Alex, who plays drums, was also by his side.
Wolfang also confirmed the news of his father’s death earlier today on his Instagram and Twitter page. He led the online tributes to his father.
“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” Wolfgang wrote on Instagram. “He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”
“My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”
Eddie Van Halen cause of death was throat cancer
Van Halen had been battling cancer for more than a decade. He’d been undergoing radiation treatment in Germany in recent years and he was hospitalized in November for gut-related problems.
He reportedly had throat cancer which he believed was caused by the metal pick for his guitar. Van Halen often held in his pick in his mouth during performances. However, he was also known to be a heavy smoker.
Following years of treatment, his health recently took a dramatic downturn after doctors found that his cancer had spread to other organs of his body, including his brain.
During the years of struggling with cancer, Van Halen continued to perform at concerts.
Tributes pour in on social media
Fans, celebrities, and colleagues in the music industry have been paying tribute on social media since news of Eddie Van Halen’s death broke.
Stars who paid tribute on Twitter include Eddie’s ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, and his former Van Halen bandmate, Sammy Hagar.
Eddie Van Halen bio
Eddie Van Halen was born in the Netherlands in January 1955. His father, Jan, was a musician who played the saxophone, clarinet, and piano. Van Halen’s family immigrated to the U.S. when he was only eight years old.
He initially took an interest in drums but later switched to the guitar.
Van Halen is considered one of the most influential guitarists ever.
He co-founded the rock band Van Halen in the early 1970s with his brother Alex. The group was founded in Pasadena, California and the original lineup included David Lee Roth (vocals) and Michael Anthony (bass).
The group released its self-titled debut album in 1978. The album, which including single’s such Runnin’ with the Devil and You Really Got Me, reached Number 19 on the U.S. Billboard pop music charts.
The group soared to superstardom in the 1980s, releasing multiple albums, including Van Halen II (1979), Women and Children First (1980), Fair Warning (1981), Diver Down (1982), and 1984 (1984).
Sammy Hagar replaced Roth in the group in 1985.
Van Halen released several other albums, such as For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (1991), Van Halen III (1998), and A Different Kind of Truth (2012).
The group is also known for hit songs such as Somebody Get Me a Doctor, Hot for Teacher, Jump, Panama, and When It’s Love.
Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Eddie Van Halen was best known for his energetic guitar solos, such as his solo for Eruption from their album Van Halen, and his guitar break for Michael Jackson’s Beat It.