Home Celebrity 2020 Strikes Again: Rock legend Eddie Van Halen dead at 65

2020 Strikes Again: Rock legend Eddie Van Halen dead at 65

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David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen of rock band Van Halen celebrate Sunday, July 9th, 1978 at the Long Beach Arena during the rock band’s return to town. Eddie Van Halen has died at age 65 of cancer. (The Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Bobby Olivier

NJ Advance Media Group, Edison, N.J.

Eddie Van Halen, the iconic rock guitarist and namesake of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Van Halen, has died, according to multiple reports. He was 65.

Van Halen died Tuesday after a lengthy battle with throat cancer, TMZ reports. The website reports the rock star’s health quickly deteriorated over the last 72 hours after it was discovered the cancer had spread to his brain and other organs. He’d been battling cancer for a more than a decade.

Throughout much of his battle, Van Halen continued to tour after reuniting with frontman David Lee Roth. The reformed band (with Eddie’s son Wolfgang on bass) played PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel in 2015. Throughout the performance Van Halen put on a clinic in his patented two-handed tapping style that helped modernize electric guitar playing in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

“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 wrote on Instagram Tuesday. “My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”

Led by Van Halen’s speed-freak playing and unforgettable riffs, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. The band sold 56 million albums in the U.S. alone.

The band’s most recent album was 2012\u2032s well-reviewed “A Different Kind of Truth.”

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Bobby Olivier may be reached at bolivier@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @BobbyOlivier and Facebook. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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