Eddie Van Halen: Legendary rock star dies at age 65 after long battle with throat cancer

Rock star and guitar legend Eddie Van Halen has died after a “long and arduous battle” with throat cancer, his son has said.

Celebrity news website TMZ reports that Van Halen’s health had declined in the last 72 hours, with doctors discovering the cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs.

Eddie and his brother Alex founded Van Halen in the early 1970s in Los Angeles and the band released their eponymous debut album in 1978.

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The album shot to number 19 on the Billboard charts, becoming one of the most successful debuts of the decade.

The band, which also featured Michael Anthony on bass and David Lee Roth as singer, was hugely successful and has sold more than 80 million records worldwide.

In a statement shared on Twitter, Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang, said his father died on Tuesday.

He said: “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.

Eddie Van Halen has died aged 65. Photo: APEddie Van Halen has died aged 65. Photo: AP
Eddie Van Halen has died aged 65. Photo: AP

“My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss.”

Wolfgang, who became Van Halen’s bassist, added: “I love you so much, Pop.”

The Twitter account of rock group Pantera has tweeted that rock band Van Halen was a “tremendous influence” on their music after guitar legend Eddie’s death.

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“RIP Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen were a tremendous influence on both Vinnie & Dime & Pantera. Hopefully they are all rocking out together now!” the band’s account posted.

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