Guwahati: Legendary rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen whose band is considered one of the greatest rock bands of all time, died on Tuesday following a long battle with cancer. He was 65.
"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," Wolf Van Halen, the guitarist's son, announced on micro-blogging platform Twitter.
"He was the best father I could ever ask for," Wolf added. "Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift.
The musician was born in the Netherlands and raised in California, US. He founded the rock group with his older brother Alex in the early 1970s and quickly rose to superstardom. With smash hits like "Jump," "Panama," "Runnin' with the Devil," and the guitar solo "Eruption," the group became one of the best-selling acts of the era.
The group would go on to sell over 7.5 crore albums across the world and has more number one hits on the mainstream US rock chart than any other artist.
The group's album "1984" was to be the band's high point, giving them their only number-one single "Jump." It is also one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Eddie was famous for what became known as "finger-tapping" -- playing the guitar with two hands, like a piano. Notably, Van Halen was also known for his work outside the band -- such as providing the lead-in guitar for Michael Jackson's 1983 smash hit "Beat It."
Towards the latter part of his life, Van Halen was known to have health problems that would interfere with his work. The musician underwent hip surgery in 1999 and had part of his tongue removed in 2000 after being diagnosed with cancer. Eddie was known to be a heavy smoker and heavy drinker.
Although Van Halen was declared cancer-free following the surgery, the American tabloid news site TMZ reported earlier this year that he had been going to Germany for throat cancer treatment.