The news is spreading far and wide but no one has quite gotten over the shock; guitar god Eddie Van Halen has died following his long battle with throat cancer. He was 65 years old.
Although many knew he was suffering with cancer, his sudden decline was unexpected. Sources that were close to the guitarist are now revealing that he was in a great deal of pain and experienced a rapid decline during his final days.
News of his death was reported by his son Wolf who tweeted on Tuesday, "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 stage and off stage was a gift," Wolf continued. "My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss."
According to insiders, Van Halen’s cancer had spread to all his organs. Although his throat cancer was common knowledge, few people knew the extent of the illness. Reportedly, the guitarist had to get one third of his tongue removed due to the cancer and it had also spread to his esophagus.
Van Halen died at a Santa Monica hospital with his son Wolf, his brother Alex and his wife Janie by his side. Due to the pandemic, his family was committed to making sure he was fully protected throughout his illness.
Although Van Halen was a smoker and partied hard throughout his life, it was his belief that he got lung cancer due to the metal picks he held in his mouth.
“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,” the rocker was quoted as saying. “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.”
Many fellow musicians and celebrities are coming forward to pay tribute to Van Halen. Most notable is his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli. The “Hot in Cleveland actress is Wolf’s mother and she was married to the guitarist for 20 years. The two remained close after the divorce.
Bertinelli took to Instagram posting an early picture of herself, Van Halen and Wolf along with the quote,
"40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you. You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang. Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin. I'm so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love."
Although the guitarist became a legend in and of himself, he is best known as being a founding member of the hard rock band Van Halen. He started the group in 1974 with his brother Alex. Since then, the group has enjoyed success with countless hits and blockbuster albums.
Van Halen is among the top 20 best selling artists of all time and they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of fame in 2007. The guitarist placed at number 8 in Rolling Stones’ list of 100 greatest guitarists of all time. This truly is a blow to the world of rock n’ roll but his music will live on in our hearts for years to come.