TMZ has just confirmed Eddie Van Halen has passed away after a long battle with throat cancer.
TMZ reports he died at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica Tuesday with his wife by his side. The last 72 hours "went massively downhill — doctors discovered his throat cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs." according to TMZ.
His son, Wolfgang Van Halen commented on social media "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."
Sammy Hagar commented "Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family." The tributes are already pouring in from all over the rock and metal world. See the ones we've collected here.
Last November, TMZ reported Eddie checked into a hospital last week for a few days over complications from the medicine he's taking to deal with his cancer treatment.
Sources close to the legendary guitarist tell TMZ … he was admitted to the hospital last week with intestinal issues and abdominal pain. We're told both were the result of a bad reaction to the drugs Eddie is taking to battle throat cancer. He was released Sunday and we're told he's doing fine now.
Around that time, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather was interviewed by Eddie Trunk, and Lukather hinted at health issues for Eddie Van Halen being the reason for no Van Halen activity at the moment.
"[Eddie] and Alex are sitting there laying back and they're waiting to see what happens next. I think they're on a hiatus. There's been some health issues that they're dealing with and stuff like that. We're older guys now, and to go on the road, and stuff like that, it requires a lot of extra effort in terms of as a human being…I'm not the guy to say anything. I love those brothers so much and we've always had a great relationship. I'm a big fan and also adore them as human beings."
A 2019 report from TMZ suggested that Eddie has been flying back and forth between the U.S. and Germany to get treatment for throat cancer.
Eddie was diagnosed with the disease 20 years ago, and famously had a portion of his tongue removed to get rid of the cancer. He was telling friends that the cancer cells have migrated down his throat over the last few years, and doctors would scrape them out.
TMZ reported Eddie had been flying to Germany for radiation treatments for the last five years.
Eddie's influence on the rock and metal world is ever lasting. He was the Michael Jordan of guitar.