Entertainment Music Eddie Van Halen's Life In Photos The rock legend died at 65 on Oct. 6, 2020, after battling cancer By Andrea Wurzburger Updated on January 26, 2022 11:30 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 11 Eddie Van Halen's Early Years Eddie Van Halen. Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Eddie Van Halen was born on Jan. 26, 1955, in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. In the early 1960s, the future rock legend's family moved to California, and he started studying music alongside his brother, Alex. 02 of 11 Van Halen Forms Van Halen. Andre Csillag/Shutterstock The band Van Halen was formed in 1972 in Pasadena, California, when Eddie and Alex were joined by Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth. They would put out their first, self-titled album in 1978, after being discovered by Gene Simmons (yes, that Gene Simmons from KISS). 03 of 11 Van Halen's 1984 Eddie Van Halen in 1978. Fin Costello/Redferns The band released album after album, including the majorly popular 1984, which contained some of the band's most recognizable hits like "Panama," "Hot For Teacher" and "Jump." Here's a fun fact about Eddie: He also recorded the famous guitar solo in Michael Jackson's "Beat It." 04 of 11 Van Halen's Ups and Downs Eddie Van Halen. Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty The band had its ups and downs, with a rotation of lead singers starting in 1985, when Roth left the band and was replaced by Sammy Hagar. In 1995, Roth returned, but soon left the band and was replaced (again) by Gary Cherone. Roth would return to the band in 2012. 05 of 11 Eddie Van Halen Marries Valerie Bertinelli Ron Galella/WireImage In 1981, Eddie wed One Day at a Time actress Valerie Bertinelli, and the pair would be married for nearly two decades before announcing in July 2002 that they were separating. Their divorce was finalized in 2007. 06 of 11 Wolfgang Van Halen Arrives Eddie Van Halen with son Wolf as a baby. Wolf Van Halen/Instagram Bertinelli and Van Halen share one child together, Wolfgang Van Halen, who was born on March 16, 1991. On his son's 29th birthday in March 2020, Eddie wrote alongside a baby photo of his son, "The Best Day of My Life. Happy Birthday Wolf! I Love You So Much!! Your Pop ❤" 07 of 11 Van Halen's Accolades Jeff Kravitz/Filmmagic Through the years, Van Halen won four MTV Video Music Awards, one Grammy and one American Music Award. 08 of 11 Van Halen's Comeback INF In August 2007, the band (including Eddie's son, Wolfgang, who became the band's bassist in 2006) announced that Van Halen would be heading out for another North American tour. That same year, the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 09 of 11 Eddie Van Halen Marries Janie Liszewski Michael Bezjian/WireImage In 2009, Eddie married his girlfriend of three years, Janie Liszewski. 10 of 11 Eddie Van Halen's Cancer Diagnosis Daniel Knighton/Getty In 2000, the rocker was diagnosed with tongue cancer, and was declared cancer-free in 2002. He'd later spend years in treatment for throat cancer before it metastasized elsewhere in his body, a source told PEOPLE. 11 of 11 Eddie Van Halen Dies On Oct. 6, 2020, Wolfgang revealed that his father had died in an emotional Instagram caption. He wrote, "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 and off stage was a gift," he continued. He concluded, "My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop."