GUITAR legend Eddie Van Halen has died at the age of 65 after a long battle with throat cancer.
Van Halen is among the top 20 best-selling artists of all time, and his band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Who was Eddie Van Halen?
Van Halen was born in Amsterdam and his family immigrated to California in 1962 when he was 7.
His father was a big band clarinetist who rarely found work after coming to the US, and their mother was a maid who had dreams of her sons being classical pianists.
The Van Halens shared a house with three other families.
“We showed up here with the equivalent of $50 and a piano,” Eddie Van Halen told The Associated Press in 2015.
“We came halfway around the world without money, without a set job, no place to live and couldn’t even speak the language.”
Who are his wife and children?
He was married to actress Valerie Bertinelli and then to stuntwoman-turned-publicist Janie Liszewski.
He has one son, Wolfgang, with Bertinelli. Wolfgang was born in 1991.
Wolfgang confirmed the news of his father's death with a tribute on social media.
What albums did Van Halen produce?
Eddie Van Halen, bassist Wolfgang Van Halen and vocalist David Lee Roth of Van Halen perform at Staples Center on June 9, 2012 in Los Angeles
Van Halen released albums on a yearly basis, including Van Halen II (1979), Women and Children First (1980), Fair Warning (1981) and “Diver Down” (1982).
The monumental 1984 hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200 album charts (only behind Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”).
Rolling Stone ranked “1984” No. 81 on its list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s.
“Eddie put the smile back in rock guitar, at a time when it was all getting a bit brooding," musician Joe Satriani told Billboard in 2015.
"He also scared the hell out of a million guitarists around the world, because he was so damn good. And original.”
Van Halen played guitar on one of the biggest singles of the 1980s: Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”
“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 ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.
Wolfgang added: “My heart is broke and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss.
“I love you so much, Pop.”
When was the band Van Halen founded?
The two Van Halen brothers, Eddie and Alex; vocalist David Lee Roth; and bassist Michael Anthony formed the band in 1974 in Pasadena, California.
They were members of rival high school bands and then attended Pasadena City College together.
They combined to form the band Mammoth, but then changed to Van Halen after discovering there was another band called Mammoth.
What did Gene Simmons say about Van Halen's death?
Kiss rocker Gene Simmons shared his own sweet note about the late musician.
The 71-year-old tweeted: “My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie!”
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