Eddie Van Halen, lead guitarist and co-founder of legendary rock band Van Halen, has passed away after a battle with throat cancer.
Van Halen reportedly died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, earlier this afternoon. At his side was his wife Janie Liszewski, his son Wolfgang Van Halen and his brother and band co-founder Alex Van Halen.
Van Halen’s battle with cancer had been going on for over a decade, but his health had been deteriorating quickly within the last 72 hours.
Van Halen spoke about the cause of his throat cancer to TMZ back in 2019, stating he did not believe his smoking was the cause but, instead, a metal guitar pick he commonly held in his mouth.
“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 said in an Instagram post earlier today. “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.”
The band Van Halen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and Eddie Van Halen is considered to be one of the best guitar players of all time.