The famed Heart guitarist dropped her debut solo album You and Me on Friday
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When Nancy Wilson first met fellow rocker Eddie Van Halen in the '80s, they had an instant connection.

"He complimented me on my acoustic guitar playing, which blew my mind," the Heart guitarist said in a recent video explaining the story behind her new song, "4 Edward." "I said, 'Why don't you play more acoustic?' He said, 'Well, I don't really have one' ... I gave him an acoustic guitar right then and there. Early the next morning, my hotel room phone rang and it was Eddie playing the acoustic, playing me a beautiful piece of acoustic guitar."

Once she heard the news last October that Van Halen had died at 65 of cancer, Wilson, 67, knew she had to pay tribute to him on her new debut solo album You and Me, out Friday, and ultimately dedicated her instrumental piece "4 Edward" to him.

"I was trying to recreate what I vaguely remember hearing that distant morning," Wilson said in the video.

Along with Van Halen, Wilson also pays tribute to her late mother Lois on the album's title track.

While many of the tracks on You and Me are originals, Wilson decided to include a handful of covers of her favorite songs, including Simon & Garfunkel's "The Boxer," The Cranberries' "Dreams" and Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising."

Nancy wilson cover art
Nancy Wilson You and Me cover art
| Credit: carry on music

She also recorded a female perspective of Pearl Jam's "Daughter," which will be featured in the upcoming Netflix thriller I Am All Girls out May 14.

"Being off the road last year from touring with Heart, and at home with my good guitars and amps out, I felt like I was once again able to reconnect with my pre-Heart self, my college-girl self, creating poetic, intimate and romantic songs, which pretty much is what I first brought in to Heart," Wilson said in a statement.

Nancy wilson
Nancy Wilson
| Credit: Jason Merritt/Radarpics/Shutterstock

Wilson had previously released one other album with just her name on it, Live at McCabe's Guitar Shop, which captured her playing a set of covers and new songs in 1999. But she considers this her first true solo album.

"I don't know why it took me so long to do this," she said. "Maybe I was stuck in traffic, maybe I was stuck in the Heart vortex of it all."

You and Me is out now.