Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen has died at the age of 65, his son tweeted Tuesday.
The co-founder of Van Halen had been battling throat cancer and died surrounded by friends and family at a Santa Monica, California hospital Tuesday, sources told 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 said in a statement.
TMZ reports that Eddie Van Halen had been fighting cancer for more than a decade, and, over the last five years, had been traveling between the U.S. and Germany for radiation treatment.
Eddie Van Halen is survived by his second wife Janie, brother Alex and son Wolfgang.
With his distinct solos, Eddie 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.”
The members consisted of Eddie, brother and drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone – who would be replaced by Michael Anthony – and singer David Lee Roth.
Van Halen is among the top 20 best-selling artists of all time and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Rolling Stone magazine put Eddie Van Halen at No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.