"Eddie was not only a guitar god, but Eddie was a gentle soul," Gene Simmons said in his tribute

By Georgia Slater
October 07, 2020 11:50 AM
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Gene Simmons is paying tribute to fellow rock legend Eddie Van Halen following his death.

The KISS frontman, 71, shared an emotional video on social media in which he honored the musician, who died on Tuesday after a "long and arduous" battle with cancer. He was 65.

"I just found out Eddie Van Halen passed away, I’m heartbroken," the 71-year-old said. "He wasn’t just a guitar god to millions of people, but Eddie was a gentle soul."

In the short clip, Simmons speaks about Van Halen while standing in front of a chalkboard calendar and wearing a black hat and dark sunglasses.

"What can I say," Simmons added, taking a short pause. "Rest in peace Eddie. Rest in peace."

Credit: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock; Jerod Harris/Getty

Simmons — who produced Van Halen's first demo, according to Rolling Stone — also included a rock-on emoji and a sad face.

The star expressed similar sentiments in a post about Van Halen's death on Tuesday.

"My heart is broken," he wrote, adding that the singer was a "genuinely beautiful soul."

Several other musicians also shared emotional tributes in honor of Van Halen.

Ozzy Osbourne honored the rocker writing, "@EddieVanHalen was one of the nicest guys I ever worked with and we shared so many laughs together. His influence on music and especially the guitar has been immeasurable. He was an absolute legend. Eddie, I’ll see you on the other side, my friend. Love, Ozzy."

Van Halen died Tuesday morning after a years-long battle with cancer, his son, Wolf, confirmed the news on Twitter.

"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 tweeted. "He was the best father I could ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift."

Eddie Van Halen
| Credit: Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty

"My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever recover from this loss," he added. "I love you so much, Pop."

Van Halen's ex-wife, and mother of Wolf, Valerie Bertinelli, replied to the tweet with several broken heart emojis. Van Halen and Bertinelli were married for more than 20 years.

A source close to Van Halen told PEOPLE that the guitar hero had a rapid decline in health over the past three days and that the cancer had "spread to all his organs."

Van Halen's wife, Janie Liszewski, Wolf and Bertinelli were at the hospital with him at the time of his death.