His son, Wolfgang Van Halen, confirmed the news of his death. “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 said.
Van Halen was one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most lauded guitarists and was named No. 8 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 all-time greatest guitarists. His unique playing style helped define the rock and metal genres.
Following his death, countless celebrities took to social media to pay tribute to the legendary rocker and sent out messages of support to his family.
Scroll through to see all of the celeb reactions below.
“An amazing talent and a gentle, lovely man. @eddievanhalen #RIP.”
Sean Ono Lennon
“Articles keep referring to Eddie Van Halen as ‘guitarist’ and that word just doesn’t feel like it’s enough to me. Whether you liked his band or not he was at the very least a legend."
“HE CHANGED THE COURSE OF GUITAR WHAMMY BAR ROCK & RHYME... A GAME CHANGER... AND HIS MELODIC CRAZY WAS OVER THE TOP. WE’LL MISS YOU EDDIE... LOVE FROM ABOVE.”
“@EddieVanHalen was one of the nicest guys I ever worked with and we shared so many laughs together. His influence on music and especially the guitar has been immeasurable. He was an absolute legend. Eddie, I’ll see you on the other side, my friend. Love, Ozzy.”
“The world lost an icon, innovator, showman, virtuoso, master songwriter and perhaps one of the biggest inspirations ever to learn how to play guitar. Heartbroken to hear of Eddie Van Halen’s passing. Our love, condolences and best wishes to his family, friends and fans. #RIP.”
“RIP to my friend and man who changed guitar playing forever ...F**K!!! no words”
“Eddie Van Halen was a guitar superhero. A true virtuoso. A stunningly good musician and composer. Looking up to him as a young kid was one of the driving forces in my needing to pick up a guitar. I was so blown away watching him exert such control and expression over his instrument. Learning to play the guitar taught me so many things, but still absolutely nothing about how to play like Eddie Van Halen. And for that reason, I never stopped watching him in adolescent awe and wonder, and I promise you I never will. So very sad to learn of his passing. My love to his family, his bandmates, his friends and his crew. EVH FOREVER ♥️.”
“Incredibly sorry for your loss man. Could never thank your dad enough for the joy he gave us all my sincerest condolences to you and your family.”
“This goes beyond the passing of a great guitarist, but rather is a tremendous loss of a great man who truly helped to change my life and path with his guitar and sound. He helped forge the way for myself and many and will be deeply missed. Rest in peace, Eddie.”
“Rest In Peace Eddie Van Halen - gone far too soon, our world lost so much talent today. #RIPEddieVanHalen”
“RIP Eddie Van Halen….legend…you influenced an entire generation with your amazing talent. Rest well.”
“Wolfie he was the best. I am so so sorry. I know how much he cherished you. You were a great son. Sending love from the Deutch family.”
“Legendary guitar and musical innovator Edward Van Halen. 1955-2020. Heaven will be electric tonight.”
“One of the greatest guitarists of all time! Rest in peace Eddie Van Halen."
"Apex talent. An unparalleled titan in the annals of rock n roll. One of the greatest musicians in the history of mankind. Rest In Peace, King Edward"
“This is a very hard one to take for so many of us...his influence and his music will go on forever, thank you for everything Eddie Van Halen RIP #EVH"
"He was immortal even while he was alive. The name Eddie Van Halen has always been synonymous with insane ability. No matter what kind of style you play, no one can deny his colossal influence. To have a sound not only uniquely signature to the artist, but of an entire era."
"40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you. You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang. Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin. I’m so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love."
“Crushed. So f**king crushed! RIP Eddie Van Halen. You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe Rockstar”
"I just found out that my guitar hero Eddie had passed away. I have fond memories of the tours we did together! He's up there shredding!!!! RIP my friend."
“I am so sad to hear of the passing of Eddie Van Halen. He was an inspiration to so many, myself included, and his legacy will undoubtedly live on. God got another Legend way too soon. #RIP.”
“Two of the best hours of my life were spent chatting with Eddie Van Halen. A great musician, yes - also a funny and lovely guy who will be missed terribly. Sending love to Janie, Wolf, Alex & all those who loved him.”
Luann de Lesseps
"RIP Eddie Van Halen #GoneButNeverForgotten. A true legend. I will always love you!"
"Oh NO! Speechless. A trailblazer and someone who always gave everything to his music. A good soul. I remember first seeing him playing at the Starwood in 1976 and he WAS Eddie Van Halen. So shocked and sad. My condolences to Wolfie and the family."
“Rest in peace guitar legend Eddie Van Halen. We will miss you. #fuckcancer @eddievanhalen #eddievanhalen.”
"Omg…RIP, Edward…Our Thoughts Are Prayers Are With Your Family, Friends & Fans…What An Incredible Loss…Truly An Astonishing Musician."
“Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family.”
“I am devastated at the news of the passing of my friend Eddie Van Halen. He was a friend and a hero to anyone who has ever picked up a guitar and had a dream. Eddie and his brother Alex joined us on stage at one of our stadium shows in Los Angeles and it was one of the highlights of my touring life in all my summers on the road. I will never forget that night and how happy we both were that our musical paths crossed that night on stage. Rest In Peace to the best guitar player that ever lived. We will miss you Eddie Van Halen. Your music will live forever!!”
"Another legendary musical innovator gone too soon. #RIPEddieVanHalen"
“I just heard about Eddie Van Halen and I feel terrible about it. Eddie was such a great guitarist and I remember how big Van Halen was, especially here in L.A. Love and Mercy to Eddie’s family & friends.”
"Just heard the news that Eddie Van Halen passed away today! We miss you already Eddie! You made a difference! You were a Rock God! C U Soon!"
“We are in a season of grief. Eddie Van Halen, grinning guitar god for a rock generation, dies at 65.”
"It's completely tragic that we have lost him. 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. As he got older he became more generous and amusing and self-effacing about his enormous gifts. He shared so many tricks through guitar workshops, online and on TV shows. Immense talent. The Great American Guitar Player. I was hoping he might be President one day."
“RIP Eddie Van Halen, 65. One of the greatest guitarists in music history and a delightfully warm, funny guy. ‘To hell with the rules, if it sounds right - then it is.’”
"Eddie Van Halen. Gutted. 2020 sucks so bad it's unreal. RIP Ed. The band in heaven is smokin. Crank it up and let her rip!"