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Rock legend Eddie Van Halen dead at 65

Legendary musician Eddie Van Halen dies at age 65
Posted at 12:43 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 16:10:57-04

(KGTV) -- Legendary rocker Eddie Van Halen has died at the age of 65, according to his son who posted on social media Tuesday.

TMZ reported, citing close sources, that the 65-year-old died at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica.

“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.

TMZ reports that Van Halen's throat cancer spread to his brain as well as other organs.

“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.

The guitarist rose to stardom in 1974 after forming a band with his brother Alex, which they named Van Halen. They later added vocalist David Lee Roth and bass guitar player Michael Anthony. The band released four albums between 1979 through1982 making it a chart-topping rock act as the "disco" music genre began phasing out.

But it was in 1984 that Van Halen and the band gained tremendous international commercial success with their hit song "Jump,"

In addition to the many years of success with the band, Van Halen is credited for playing the piercing guitar solo in Michael Jackson's popular hit song "Beat It."

According to CNN, Van Halen played the solo for free "as a favor to producer Quincy Jones, while the rest of his Van Halen bandmates were out of town."

"I said to myself, 'Who is going to know that I played on this kid's record, right? Nobody's going to find out.' Wrong!" he told CNN in a 2012 interview. "Big-time wrong. It ended up being Record of the Year."

"I don't even think I'm credited on the record. It just says, "Guitar solo: Question Mark" or "Guitar solo: Frankenstein" (the name of his guitar)," he said.

In 2007, Van Halen and the original members of his band were inducted into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

His technique, style, and approach on the guitar makes him one of the most revered and influential musicians of all time.

Stay with ABC 10News for updates on this developing story.