Eddie Van Halen died at the age of 65 on Tuesday after a "long and arduous battle with cancer," his son, Wolfgang, confirmed

By Brianne Tracy
Updated October 06, 2020 05:45 PM
Advertisement

Sammy Hagar is paying tribute to his longtime Van Halen bandmate Eddie Van Halen, who died at the age of 65 on Tuesday morning after a years-long battle with cancer.

Shortly after Van Halen's son, Wolfgang, confirmed the rocker's death on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, Hagar, 71, shared a brief message in response to the news to his social media pages.

"Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family," Hagar wrote on Twitter and Instagram, alongside a smiling photo of him and Van Halen sitting together on what looks like a private jet.

Hagar and Van Halen first became bandmates in 1985, when Hagar stepped in to fill vocalist David Lee Roth's spot after he parted ways with the band. Hagar left the band himself in 1996, but he reunited with them years later on The Best of Both Worlds tour in 2004.

In his tweet confirming Van Halen's death, Wolfgang, 29, wrote that he "was the best father I could ask for."

"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 wrote. "He was the best father I could ask for."

Wolfgang, who has served as the bassist in his father's band since 2007, went on to say that "every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift."

"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 Wolfgang, Valerie Bertinelli replied with several broken heart emojis. The couple were married for 20 years before they divorced in 2007.

The iconic guitarist had battled throat cancer for more than 10 years. He previously defeated tongue cancer in 2002 after a two-year battle.

The outlet also reported that he died in Santa Monica alongside his wife Janie, son Wolfgang and brother Alex.

Eddie and Wolf Van Halen
| Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Earlier this year, Roth, 65, told Las Vegas-Review Journal that Van Halen was not doing well.

Van Halen, the band, was most recently comprised of Van Halen, his brother Alex, his son Wolfgang and Roth. Van Halen is one of the top 20 best-selling artists of all time and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Formed in 1972 in Pasadena, California, Van Halen has released 12 studio albums, including their latest A Different Kind of Truth in 2012.

The band's self-titled 1978 album featured iconic tracks such as "Runnin' with the Devil," "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" and "You Really Got Me." Their massive hit album 1984 featured tracks such as "Jump," "Hot for Teacher" and "Panama."  Both LPs are certified diamond in the U.S.

Along with his work with the group, Van Halen gained notoriety after playing the guitar solo in Michael Jackson's hit "Beat It."