Legendary rocker Eddie Van Halen has died at the age of 65, according to his son who posted on social media Tuesday.
“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,” the statement from Wolfgang Van Halen reads.
The elder Van Halen had been battling throat cancer for over a decade.
“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,” his son’s statement reads.
Eddie Van Halen, along with his brother Alex on drums, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth, founded the band Van Halen in 1972. Stone left the group a few years later, replaced by Michael Anthony.
The Van Halen brothers, Roth and Anthony were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
As part of their induction, the Hall of Fame noted, "They delivered their music with an unrelenting intensity and musicality that audiences devoured, launching them to superstardom and restoring hard rock to the forefront of the music scene."
Rolling Stone magazine put Eddie Van Halen at No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.
With his distinct solos, Van Halen fueled the ultimate California party band and helped knock disco off the charts starting in the late 1970s with his band’s self-titled debut album and then with the blockbuster record “1984," which contains the classics “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher.”
In 1985, Roth left the group and was replaced as lead vocalist by Sammy Hagar. With Hagar, the group released four multi-platnium albums in 11 years. Hagar left the group in 1996. Gary Cherone was lead vocalist for 1998-1999, then left. Hagar returned to the group in 2003 and left again in 2005.
Roth returned as lead vocalist in 2006, and Michael Anthony was replaced on bass guitar by Eddie's son, Wolfgang.