KISS' Gene Simmons Pays Tribute to Eddie Van Halen: "My Heart Is Broken"

The rock and roll world was met with a devastating loss on Tuesday, when it was announced that Eddie Van Halen has passed away at the age of 65. The iconic rock guitarist, and co-founder of Van Halen, reportedly passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with throat cancer. The tributes have already begun to pour in for Van Halen, including a heartfelt tweet from KISS' Gene Simmons. As Simmons tweeted on Tuesday, "My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul."

KISS and Van Halen had an interesting overlap over the years, beginning when Simmons saw the band play in a small Los Angeles club in 1976 and helped them make their first demo. In the decades that followed, a rumor swirled - sparked by a comment from Simmons - that he had almost convinced Van Halen to leave his eponymous group and join KISS, but that was debunked in recent years by KISS frontman Paul Stanley.

Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Eddie would go on to use his family's surname to form the superstar group Van Halen alongside his brother Alex Van Halen (drummer), Mark Stone (bass guitar), and David Lee Roth (Singer). They would go on to release their first full album in 1978, a self titled release with hit singles like "You Really Got Me," "Runnin' with the Devil," and "Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love." Their 1983 single "Jump" would go on to become their most popular song of all time, reaching number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and being used in popular culture including at sporting events and in feature films.

Eddie Van Halen popularized the method of guitar playing known as "tapping," wherein the player uses both hands on the neck of the instrument in order to create the desired sounds and notes. His style of play and celebrated guitar solos cemented his place as an icon of the music world and influenced generations of musicians as well.

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Our thoughts are with Van Halen's family, friends, and fans at this time.