Legendary Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen died today at the age of 65. Following the news of his death, countless musicians paid tribute to the late rock icon on social media, including Sammy Hagar, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Queen’s Brian May, Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, Patti Smith, the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, Weyes Blood, and many more.
“It’s completely tragic that we have lost him,” the Who’s Pete Townshend told Rolling Stone. “He was not just an innovative and stylish player with great taste, he was also a laidback virtuoso showman who just blew us all away every time. Every shredder today has lost their Master Teacher and Guide.”
“The greatest thing I say about anyone is that they are the Eddie Van Halen of their field,” guitarist Matt Sweeney wrote in a tweet. “Breaks my heart to hear the world’s one and only Eddie Van Halen is gone. RIP to the greatest.” Find words of remembrance for the legend below.
Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen confirmed the news of his father’s passing. While no cause of death was revealed, Van Halen had been treated for throat cancer as recently as last year.