Rock star Eddie Van Halen dies at age 65

Rock star Eddie Van Halen is dead at 65: Co-founder and guitarist of one of the most popular rock bands ever passes away with his wife by his side after long battle with throat cancer that ‘traveled to his brain’

  • Van Halen died at the age of 65 in Santa Monica, California on Tuesday 
  • The co-founder of the Eighties band Van Halen had been battling throat cancer
  • He had been sick for over a decade and recently his health turned worse
  • According to TMZ, the cancer had traveled to his brain and other organs 

Rock star Eddie Van Halen died at the age of 65 on Tuesday.

The guitarist and co-founder of the Eighties band Van Halen had been battling throat cancer for over a decade.

He passed away at at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, California with his wife Janie next to him, according to TMZ.

‘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,’ his son Wolfgang Van Halen said in a tweet. 

He added: ‘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 will ever fully recover from this loss.’ 

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons wrote: ‘My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie!’

Sad loss: Musician Eddie Van Halen died at the age of 65 on Tuesday. Seen in April 2017

Happy on stage: The star is seen here in 1984 at Madison Square Garden in New York

Eddie had a sudden decline in health in the past ’72 hours’, according to TMZ.

His throat cancer had reportedly gone to his brain as well as other parts of his body, it was added.  The site added that he had been ‘in and out of the hospital over the past year.’

The veteran rocker, 64, was diagnosed with cancer nearly 20 years ago and had been travelling between the United States and Germany for treatment.

He had a third of his tongue removed in 2000 and had reportedly been declared cancer free in 2002 but has now been to Germany to get radiation treatment over the last five years.

In November Eddie had intestinal issues and had undergone chemotherapy in recent months.

Van Halen has said he thinks he got throat cancer from putting a metal guitar pick in his mouth when he was on stage, even though he had been a heavy smoker.

He has son Wolfgang with One Day At A Time star Valerie Bertinelli. The couple married in a 1981 wedding when Van Halen was 25. 

His mini me became Van Halen’s bassist in 2006.

Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains said of his friend in 2019: ‘Ed’s a once- or twice-in-a-century kind of guy. There’s Hendrix and there’s Eddie Van Halen.

‘Those two guys tilted the world on its axis.’ 

A love story: He was wed to  Valerie Bertinelli with whom he has son Wolfgang; seen in the Eighties

Eddie told Billboard in 2015: ‘I used metal picks – they’re brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer.

‘Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that’s filled with electromagnetic energy. So that’s one theory. I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible.’ 

Eddie’s friend and TOTO guitarist Steve Lukather said ‘health issues’ were stopping the group – who are also made up of singer David Lee Roth, Eddie’s brother Alex Van Halen, who plays drums, and Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen on bass guitar – from touring.  

In 2012 the legendary rock guitarist underwent emergency surgery for a ‘severe bout of Diverticulitis’ – small pouches formed in the wall of the intestine that can cause a great deal of pain when inflamed or infected. 

As a result of his operation, the group postponed the Japan leg of their tour.  

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