Legendary rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen has died aged 65 after a long battle with throat cancer, his family have confirmed.
The musician, who co-founded Van Halen, died at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica on Tuesday with his wife, Janie by his side, along with his son Wolfgang and Alex, his brother, who co-founded the band.
Wolfgang paid tribute to his dad on Twitter, saying: ‘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.’
Van Halen – whose vocalists have included David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar – were formed in 1972, and have gone on to sell over 75m albums worldwide.
Just how are they best known?
What are Van Halen’s best known songs?
Van Halen have released 12 studio albums and 56 singles since they first formed, 13 of which have topped the Billboard Mainstream rock chart.
Here are some of their most famous songs.
Runnin’ With The Devil (1978)
One of the band’s earlier efforts, it only reached number 84 in the US and 52 in the UK back in 1978 but its popularity has endured, with the song being voted the 9th greatest hard rock song of all time in a 2009 VH-1 poll.
The band’s best-known song and their biggest hit, it was their only number one single in the Billboard charts, and reached number seven in the UK.
Hot For Teacher (1984)
The final single released with the band’s original line-up, Hot For Teacher wasn’t a huge hit but lives on in popularity, having been featured in Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero Van Halen, as one of the hardest songs to master on the game’s setlists.
Why Can’t This Be Love? (1986)
Fast-forward to 1986 and the band, complete with new lead singer Sammy Hagar, soared back up the charts with this anthem – going all the way to number three in the US charts, and number eight in the UK charts.
When It’s Love (1988)
Another big US hit for the band during their era with Sammy Hagar on vocals, this power ballad soared to number five in the US, but only made it to number 28 in the UK.
Beat It (1983)
OK, so this was a Michael Jackson song rather than a Van Halen song, but the Thriller album classic deserves a mention for its guitar solo, which was the work of – you guessed it – Eddie Van Halen. The musician recorded his part for the track free of charge – and helped propel it to the top of the Billboard charts, with the song selling over seven million copies worldwide.
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