Eddie Van Halen dies after battle with cancer

Tributes have poured in for the legendary guitarist of Van Halen.

Eddie Van Halen, founding member of Van Halen and one of rock’s most influential guitarists, has died at the age of 65.

Van Halen’s passing on October 6 was confirmed by his son and the band’s current bassist Wolfgang Van Halen. The musician had begun receiving treatment for tongue cancer in 2000, and was hospitalized last year after fighting throat cancer for the last five years.

“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.

“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.”

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Aside from Van Halen’s decades-long hard rock discography, which includes hits like “Jump,” “Panama” and “Runnin’ with the Devil,” Eddie Van Halen is also known for playing the scorching solo on Michael Jackson’s “Beat it.” He contributed the solo for free, and was not billed in the credits for Jackson’s album Thriller.

Van Halen vocalists David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar have both paid tribute to their bandmate. “What a long great trip it’s been,” Roth remarked. “Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family,” Hagar wrote. Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony also paid his respects on social media. See their posts below.

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No words…Heartbroken, my love to the family💔

A post shared by Michael Anthony (@mad_anthony_bassman) on

Tributes to Eddie Van Halen have poured in from around the rock and metal world. Below, see posts by AC/DC’s Angus Young, Metallica, The Who, Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, Kiss’ Gene Simmons, Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler and Tony Iommi, and Queen’s Brian Wilson.

RIP, Eddie Van Halen. Revisit the band’s iconic album 1984 here:

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