Eddie Van Halen, considered to be one of the most influential guitarists of all time, lost his ongoing battle with cancer on Tuesday morning after it had moved from his throat to his brain and other organs. Van Halen, 65, died at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica with his wife, son, and brother by his side.
Van Halen battled cancer for well over a decade. Although he was a heavy smoker for years, he believed that he developed throat cancer from a metal guitar pick that he used to hold in his mouth.
Van Halen reportedly flew between the United States and Germany for five years to get radiation treatment, but continued to attend concerts and rehearse music with his son, Wolfgang Van Halen, who became Van Halen's bassist in 2006.
Eddie Van Halen formed the rock group Van Halen in 1972 with his brother, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, and David Lee Roth. Eddie Van Halen was the main songwriter on their self-titled debut album that took the group to immediate superstardom in the 80's. Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Eddie Van Halen is survived by his wife, Janie, and his son, Wolfgang. Eddie was 65 years old.