Wolfgang Van Halen 'Declined' to Perform Grammys Tribute to Dad Eddie, Critiques '15 Second' Mention

"I’d love to get the opportunity to speak with The Recording Academy not only about the legacy of my father, but the legacy of the Rock genre moving forward," Wolfgang Van Halen said

eddie van halen
Eddie and Wolfie Van Halen at Music Midtown in 2015. Photo: Chris Mckay/Getty

Eddie Van Halen was mentioned during the 2021 Grammy Awards on Sunday with a Frankenstrat guitar spotlighted in his honor during the In Memoriam segment of the show.

And on Monday, his son Wolfgang Van Halen shared a statement about the In Memoriam portion where a video of the late musician performing "Eruption," considered one of the greatest guitar solos of all time, was played in the background.

"The GRAMMYS asked me to play Eruption for the 'In Memoriam' section and I declined," Wolfgang wrote. "I don't think anyone could have lived up to what my father did for music but himself."

"It was my understanding that there would be an 'In Memoriam' section where bits of songs were performed for legendary artists that had passed," Wolfgang added. "I didn't realize that they would only show Pop for 15 seconds in the middle of 4 full performances for others we had lost."

This year's In Memoriam segment saw Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, Lionel Richie, Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard and Chris Martin performing musical tributes to Little Richard, Kenny Rogers, John Prine and Gerry Marsden, respectively.

"What hurt the most was that he wasn't even mentioned when they talked about artists we lost in the beginning of the show. I know rock isn't the most popular genre right now, (and the academy does seem a bit out of touch) but I think it's impossible to ignore the legacy my father left on the instrument, the world of rock, and music in general," he wrote in his statement. "There will never be another innovator like him."

"I'm not looking to start some kind of hate parade here, I just wanted to explain my side. I know Pop would probably just laugh it off and say 'Ehh who gives a s---?' He was only about the music anyway. The rest didn't matter," the "Distance" singer added.

The musician ended his statement by asking to speak with the Recording Academy about his father's legacy.

"I'd love to get the opportunity to speak with The Recording Academy not only about the legacy of my father, but the legacy of the Rock genre moving forward. Thank you," Wolfgang concluded.

A spokesperson for the Recording Academy did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Many other fans and friends of the late guitarist and Van Halen member expressed dissatisfaction.

"Maybe an Artist that reimagined how one plays an instrument, who continues to influence generations of musicians and, literally changed the course of rock 'n' roll deserves more than fifteen second at the Grammys? #LongLiveTheKing," tweeted Gary Cherone, who is the lead vocalist of the rock group Extreme and was the lead vocalist for Van Halen for a brief period.

Eddie Van Halen died in early October at 65, following a years-long battle with cancer.

"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 ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift," Wolfgang wrote, sharing the news of his death then. "My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop."

And in January, Wolfgang honored his late father on what would've been his 66th birthday.

"I wish I could give you the biggest hug and celebrate it with you. I love and miss you so much it hurts. I don't even know how to put it into words," he wrote on social media. "I've been doing my best to hold it together, but goddammit it's really tough being here without you."

In a follow-up post, Wolfgang said, "Not a second has gone by where you haven't been on my mind, and today will be no different. Love and miss you beyond words, Pop."

Then in February, Wolfgang performed an acoustic rendition of his song "Distance," which he wrote about his guitar icon father, on the Today show. "I think it's almost like a mantra when you lose someone that plays a large role in your life," he said about the song's chorus. "No matter what the distance is, I will be with you. No matter what the distance is, I'll be okay." "That's kinda my mantra when I think about my dad."

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