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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Legendary Guitarist Eddie Van Halen Dead at Age 65

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Famed guitarist Eddie Van Halen has passed away after a battle with throat cancer that lasted over a decade. He was 65.

Sources confirmed to TMZ that the co-founder of “Van Halen” died on Tuesday at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, after a three-day period during which his health declined dramatically.

Van Halen was first diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2000, but two years later was declared cancer-free, Cox Media Group reported.

The cancer eventually came back, and Van Halen’s been fighting it ever since.

For five years, he traveled between the U.S. and Germany for treatment, and he’d spent the past year in and out of the hospital.

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Sources told TMZ the family recently found out that the cancer had spread to his brain and organs, and just a few days later, he passed.

While the guitarist was a prolific smoker, according to the outlet, he believes it was a metal pick he used to hold in his mouth two decades ago that caused the disease.

The acclaimed musician, who made it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, has enjoyed widespread fame since the 1980s. He’s known for hits like “Unchained,” “Panama,” “Jump” and “Runnin’ with the Devil,” as well as his solo in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang, followed in his father’s footsteps — kind of. When his son first touched a guitar, his father said he “almost cried.”

“Ya know, there were some signs early on,” Van Halen told The Hard Times last month. “When he was about 9 months old I put a little guitar in front of him.

“Instead of using his thumb like a pick, he used his index and middle fingers to strum the strings one at a time. I almost cried seeing my boy touch his first guitar. He looked so lame.”

“I was afraid being a bassist would add difficulties at every step and he would flee from music and become a jock or worse.”

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But he did not flee from music, and eventually became a talented bassist and the youngest member of his dad’s band.

Wolfgang posted on Tuesday to honor his father and express his grief.

“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 shared on Instagram.

“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.”

At the time of his death, Van Halen was with his son, his wife Janie, and his brother (and bandmate) Alex.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking