Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen died of cancer on Tuesday, his son announced on Twitter. He was 65.
“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 Van Halen, a bass player who played with his father in the band, tweeted. “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 is considered one of rock music’s greatest guitar players. He founded the hugely successful rock band Van Halen, named after him and his brother Alex who played the drums in the early 1970s.
The band’s debut album, released in 1978, shot to No. 19 on the Billboard charts, according to Reuters. The band’s hits include “Runnin’ with the Devil,” and “Eruption”.
Van Halen has sold more than 75 million albums.
Some of the rock music industry’s biggest names have paid tribute to him on social media. Former Van Halen front man Sammy Hagar said he was “heartbroken”.
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ bassist Flea honoured him as well.