Eddie Van Halen dies aged 65

Devastating news

Eddie Van Halen dies aged 65
Author: Scott ColothanPublished 6th Oct 2020
Last updated 7th Oct 2020

Van Halen legend Eddie Van Halen had died today (6th October) aged 65 following a lengthy battle with lung cancer.

Eddie Van Halen’s son and band mate, Wolfgang, broke the devastating news on Twitter this evening, writing: "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 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."

Rightfully hailed as one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, Eddie Van Halen was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2000 and, following successful surgery, he was declared cancer free in 2002.

In 2019 numerous websites began published reports that Eddie had been battling throat cancer. It was claimed that Eddie had been travelling between the US and Germany for treatment for several years.

Eddie Van Halen and his family didn’t comment on the reports and last October Wolfgang Van Halen shared a photo of Eddie attending a Tool concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Eddie Van Halen's ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli has now confirmed that Eddie Van Halen was battling lung cancer.

She wrote in tribute to Eddie Van Halen: "40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you. You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang.

"Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin.

"I'm so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love."

Rock stars pay tribute to 'Guitar God' Eddie Van Halen

Born Edward Lodewijk van Halen in Amsterdam, Holland on 26th January 1955, Eddie Van Halen moved to Pasadena, California aged seven in 1962 alongside his older brother Alex and parents Jan and Eugenia.

Eddie and Alex formed a band they dubbed Genesis in 1972 until they found out a certain British progressive rock band shared then name. They then redubbed themselves Mammoth only to discover that was being used too.

Still predominately a covers band, the Van Halen brothers toyed with Rat Salad (after the Black Sabbath song) but Dave Lee Roth countered with their surname and they adopted it in 1974.

A staple of the Los Angeles music scene playing venues like Whisky a Go Go, Van Halen were snapped up by Warner Bros. Records in 1977 and they released their eponymous debut album ‘Van Halen’ in 1978.

An instant classic, ‘Van Halen’ sold more than 10 million copies in Van Halen’s native US alone and showcased Eddie Van Halen’s transcendental guitar playing, including, of course, on the instrumental ‘Eruption’.

Eddie Van Halen released 12 studio albums with Van Halen between 1978 and 2012 and sold more than 80 million records worldwide, including 56 million in his native US.

In the live arena Eddie Van Halen’s prowess, showmanship and virtuoso guitar playing marked him out as an almost untouchable guitar god.

In 2019, Eddie Van Halen’s phenomenal playing on ‘Eruption’ was voted the eighth greatest guitar solo of all time by Planet Rock listeners.

Alongside his Van Halen band mates Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, Eddie Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Eddie Van Halen - the legend in photos:

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen in 1978

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony, and Alex Van Halen in 1978

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen striking a pose at the Kouseinennkinn-kaikan, Tokyo, June 1978

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen performs onstage at the Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, Illinois, April 6, 1979.

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen doing a trademark jump on stage in 1980

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Michael Anthony, Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth and Alex Van Halen in 1981

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen on stage in 1982

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen in his live element in 1984.

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen in the mid-1980s

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar in 1986

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen in 1991

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen during Van Halen III Live in Chicago at Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, 1998

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen in 2012

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen with his son Wolfgang Van Halen in 2012

Eddie Van Halen RIP

Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth in 2015

RIP to the legendary Eddie Van Halen. The rock world will never be the same again.

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