Guitar Legend Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65

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Sad news today. Guitar rock legend Eddie Van Halen lost a long battle with cancer at age 65. As lead guitarist for Van Halen, he was a virtuoso “whose blinding speed, control and innovation propelled his band into one of hard rock’s biggest groups and became elevated to the status of rock god.” 

(From the Associated Press)

A person close to Van Halen’s family confirmed the rocker died Tuesday due to cancer. The person was not authorized to publicly release details in advance of an official announcement.

“He was the best father I could ask for,” Van Halen’s son Wolfgang wrote in a social media post. “Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”

Van Halen is among the top 20 best-selling artists of all time, and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Rolling Stone magazine put Eddie Van Halen at No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

With his distinct solos, Eddie Van Halen fueled the ultimate California party band and helped knock disco off the charts starting in the late 1970s with his band’s self-titled debut album and then with the blockbuster record “1984,” which contains the classics “Jump,” “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher.”

Van Halen also played guitar on one of the biggest singles of the 1980s: Jackson’s “Beat It.” His solo lasted all of 20 seconds and took only a half an hour to record. He did it as a favor to producer Quincy Jones, while the rest of his Van Halen bandmates were out of town.

Van Halen received no compensation or credit for the work, even though he rearranged the section he played on. “It was 20 minutes of my life. I didn’t want anything for doing that,” he told Billboard in 2015. “I literally thought to myself, ‘Who is possibly going to know if I play on this kid’s record?’”

I went searching for singing show covers of Van Halen tunes, and came up empty handed. Maybe they refused to clear songs for talent shows. But the band did record a popular cover of The Kinks 1964 hit, “You Really Got Me.” Enjoy American Idol season 6 contestant, Sanjaya Malakar performing the song, alongside the “crying girl.”

Van Halen – You Really Got Me (Official Music Video)

11 Iconic Eddie Van Halen Guitar Moments

Van Halen – Hot For Teacher (Official Music Video)

Van Halen – Jump (Official Music Video)


About mj santilli 35007 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!