Santa Monica, California: Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, legendary guitarist, co-founder of Van Halen and rock icon, has died of cancer on Tuesday, October 6th, 2020.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) October 6, 2020
Van Halen’s son, Wolf Van Halen, confirmed the sad news via Twitter typing, “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. He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on stage 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.”
TMZ reports that 65 year old Eddie Van Halen died at St. John’s Hospital with his wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, and Alex, Eddie’s brother and drummer.
*** Pictures: NBC News and The History Channel (Courtesy): ***
Eddie Van Halen, whose full name was Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, was born in Amsterdam and his family immigrated to California in 1962 when he was 7.
Eddie Van Halen and his brother Alex Van Halen began performing together as teens, but formed the core of what would later become Van Halen after meeting David Lee Roth.
Over four decades, Van Halen released more than a dozen albums together.
Van Halen’s guitar wizardry anchored the band through four turbulent decades of platinum albums, sold out tours and a revolving door of lead singers, from David Lee Roth to Sammy Hagar to Gary Cherone and back to Hagar and Roth again.
His solos crackled like lightning and powered all the band’s signature songs: “Runnin’ With the Devil,” “Panama,” “Hot For Teacher,” “Why Can’t This Be Love?” and of course “Jump” — their only No. 1 hit — which topped the pop singles charts in 1984.
Van Halen also famously lent his guitar chops to Michael Jackson for “Beat It,” the smash 1983 hit from the landmark “Thriller” album that melded Jackson’s silky pop with a harder rock edge.
As news of Van Halen’s death broke, his friends and fellow musicians paid tribute to the one-of-a-kind talent.
Gene Simmons of KISS wrote on Twitter: “Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul.”
Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath called Van Halen “one of the nicest, down to Earth men I have ever met and toured with.”
“A true gent and true genius,” Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath wrote on Twitter.
On Facebook, Ted Nugent said: “Thank you Eddie for vitalizing enriching and stimulating our lives with your brilliance gifts and vision. Jam on my friend. Jam on.”
ZachNews and the community sends our thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family and friends of Eddie Van Halen.