Legendary rocker Eddie Van Halen has died at 65 following a long battle with throat cancer.
His son, Wolf, confirmed the news in a Tweet on Tuesday afternoon.
— Wolf Van Halen (@WolfVanHalen) October 6, 2020
Van Halen is known for his band’s many hits from the 1970s onward, including Hot for Teacher, Jump, Panama, You Really Got Me, and Runnin’ With the Devil.
He was born in Amsterdam, but moved to California with his family when he was seven.
His self-titled 1978 debut album is known for helping knock disco off of the charts, ushering in a new era of rock music, distinguished by lightning-speed guitar solos and a distinct sound often described as “party rock.”
He is one of the 20 best-selling artists of all time and was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Van Halen, who has been sober since 2008, lost part of his tongue to cancer, which eventually spread to his esophagus.
On Twitter, former bandmate Sammy Hagar said he is “heartbroken and speechless.”
Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family. pic.twitter.com/MQMueMF2XO
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) October 6, 2020
Fellow musicians, some of whom worked with Van Halen over the years, also expressed condolences on social media.
My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie! …Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65 from Cancer https://t.co/gITtcndQVv
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) October 6, 2020
The world lost an icon, innovator, showman, virtuoso, master songwriter and perhaps one of the biggest inspirations ever to learn how to play guitar. Heartbroken to hear of Eddie Van Halen’s passing. Our love, condolences and best wishes to his his family, friends and fans. #RIP pic.twitter.com/pGhPUXRzyb
— Nickelback (@Nickelback) October 6, 2020
I am devastated at the news of the passing of my friend Eddie Van Halen. pic.twitter.com/hUyIdKXsdG
— Kenny Chesney (@kennychesney) October 6, 2020
Photo courtesy of Van Halen on Facebook