Legendary guitartist Eddie Van Halen has passed away at the age of 65 after a long battle with throat cancer. The news was reported by TMZ and confirmed by his son Wolfgang Van Halen on Twitter.
"I can't believe I'm having to write this," Wolf began, "but my father Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and ardous battle with cancer this morning."
Van Halen had been fighting throat cancer for well over a decade, reportedly flying between Germany and the United States to receive radiation treatments. In the last three days, doctors discovered that his cancer had spread from his throat to his brain and other organs, and his outlook rapidly deteriorated. TMZ reports that he passed away in Santa Monica's St. John's hospital with family members in the room. His son Wolfgang, his wife Janie and his brother and bandmate Alex were all at his bedside.
Van Halen started what would become his eponymous band in 1972. Along with his brother Alex Van Halen, Eddie stayed on with the band throughout the intervening decades, as the only constants in the group's lineup. Wolfgang joined the family business as a bassist for the band in 2006, and was the first to share the news of his father's passing.
"He was the best father I could ever ask for," he shared. "Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift."
Van Halen was perhaps best known for revolutionizing the electric guitar. Many notable figures in the rock world and beyond paid their respects on Twitter following news of his death.