Legendary rock artist and musician Eddie Van Halen has passed away. TMZ reports that he died at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica earlier today following complications with throat cancer. He is survived by his wife Janie and his son, Wolfgang, who confirmed the news on Twitter writing: "I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewiijk 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."
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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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.
Though the roster for Van Halen would undergo changes throughout the years, Eddie and his brother Alex were the staples of the group that were always around. His son Wolfgang would go on to join the band in 2006 as its bassist.
May he rest in peace and we wish his family well in this difficult time.