Eddie Van Halen, Guitarist and Van Halen Founder, Dead at 65

By
This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.

If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.

Legendary rock star and guitarist Eddie Van Halen died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 65.

Van Halen's son, Wolfgang -- whom he shared with ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli -- announced the news on social media.

"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 shared. "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."

Bertinelli replied to her son's heartfelt tweet with several broken heart emoji.

A source close to the Van Halen family tells ET that Van Halen’s health took a turn for the worse over the weekend, after he had endured cancer for many years. The iconic rock musician had been on life support at a hospital for 24-48 hours, before he died, the source says, adding that Van Halen had been going to Germany to get treatments every couple of months.

The source says that, just two weeks ago, Van Halen "looked great," and that his death is hitting his family very hard, adding, "Losing Eddie is a void that will never be filled."

"Eddie loved being a rock ‘n roll star, he relished it and he loved it. The crowd fueled him. All of us will miss him tremendously," the source shares. "He was a good guy."

Van Halen and brother Alex founded their eponymous band in 1972, and became a staple of the '70s and '80s rock scene in Los Angeles. They released 12 studio albums in their decades-long career, and were nominated for three GRAMMY Awards -- including one for their biggest hit, 1983's "Jump" -- and won the 1992 GRAMMY for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.

The band split and reunited several times, with Wolfgang replacing Michael Anthony on bass starting with their second reunion in 2006. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 2012, Van Halen was voted No. 1 in a Guitar World magazine reader's poll for "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and is consistently named among the best guitar players in rock history. 

Van Halen first received treatment for tongue cancer in 2000, and was declared cancer-free in 2002. In 2019, it was revealed that he had been secretly battling throat cancer for the last five years.

-- Additional reporting by Joe Siyam.

RELATED CONTENT:

Eddie Van Halen’s Son Defends Billie Eilish After She Admits to Not Knowing Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen, Paul Stanley and More React to the Death of AC/DC's Malcolm Young

Valerie Bertinelli Comments on Eddie Van Halen's Condition

Related Gallery