Eddie Van Halen, Rock Legend, Dead at 65

One of music’s all-time greatest guitarists and musicians, Eddie Van Halen, is gone.

TMZ reported Tuesday that Van Halen founder and lead guitarist Eddie Van Halen has died. The cause of death is due to the musician’s long-term battle with throat cancer.

According to the website’s report, Van Halen’s condition was deteriorating over the last three days. The guitarists’ cancer spread to his brain, as well as to other parts of his body.

With wife Janie by his side, Van Halen passed away at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California.

Attempts to Treat Cancer

In another report from TMZ, Van Halen’s attempts at recovery are explained.

The “Eruption” composer even flew to Europe several times over a five-year period to get radiation treatment. While the treatment appeared to be working, it only staved off the spread. Additionally, the report says the severity of the cancer could have come from more than just his heavy smoking.

Van Halen liked to keep a metal guitar pick in his mouth often throughout his career. Due to the severity of the disease, doctors removed a third of the legend’s tongue back in 2000.

Eddie Van Halen’s Legacy

Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, the guitarist quickly rose to fame behind his self-titled band.

Known for his ability to deftly move his fingers up and down the frets and create entire solos that were almost songs on their own, he and the band became superstars with hits like “Runnin’ With the Devil” and the cover of the Kinks’ “You Really Got Me.”

However, it was the 1984 album 1984 that truly solidified the guitarist and the band’s legacy. “Jump” became the group’s only No. 1 pop hit, while other tracks like “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher” also did extremely well.