Eddie Van Halen, legendary songwriter, guitarist and co-founder of the band Van Halen, died on October 6, 2020, as first reported by TMZ. He was 65. His final Instagram post was a tribute to his bandmate and older brother Alex Van Halen.
Eddie Van Halen, who started the rock band with his brother along with bassist Mark Stone (later replaced by Michael Anthony) and singer David Lee Roth in the early 1970s, died following a battle with throat cancer. Sources told TMZ that Van Halen was at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica when he died on Tuesday.
Alex Van Halen, 67, was by his younger brother’s side when he died, a fitting image as Van Halen’s final Instagram post was a tribute to him. On May 8, Van Halen shared a black-and-white photo of himself and his brother to his more than 377,000 followers to wish the legendary drummer a happy birthday.
He captioned the picture, “Happy Birthday Al!! Love Ya!! #vanhalen #alexvanhalen #birthday #may #drummer #musician #musicians #family #rock #classicrock #rockband #love.”
While the music industry can tear family members apart, the Van Halen brothers, both born in Amsterdam, Holland, shared a tight bond throughout their entire lives. As children, they became classically trained pianists before Alex Van Halen took up the drums and his younger brother started to play guitar.
In elementary school, after the family moved to Pasadena, California, the brothers started their first band together with three other students. They called themselves The Broken Combs and performed during lunchtime, according to the Van Halen News Desk.
In 2007, the Van Halen brothers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The band won the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge and is largely considered one of the most successful rock bands of the ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s.
Van Halen’s Son Wolfgang Shared a Moving Tribue to His Father on Instagram
On Tuesday, Van Halen’s only son, Wolfgang, who became Van Halen’s bassist in 2006 and whose mother is the guitarist’s ex-wife, actress Valerie Bertinelli, wrote a moving tribute to his father on Instagram.
Sharing a black-and-white photo of his father he wrote:
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 ever ask for. 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 fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.
Paul Stanley, Brian Wilson, Billy Idol, Lenny Kravitz & Other Celebrity Musicians Paid Tribute to Van Halen on Twitter
Fans, friends and fellow musicians shared their favorite memories of Van Halen on social media following the guitarist’s death. Paul Stanley of KISS tweeted, “Oh NO! Speechless. A trailblazer and someone who always gave everything to his music. A good soul. I remember first seeing him playing at the Starwood in 1976 and he WAS Eddie Van Halen. So shocked and sad. My condolences to Wolfie and the family.”