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Wolfgang Van Halen Opens Up Touchingly About Late Dad Eddie: 'He Was My Best Friend'

Nov. 17 2020, Published 7:35 p.m. ET

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It has been just six weeks since the world lost iconic rock 'n' roller Eddie Van Halen. The pain is still fresh for his many fans — and his son, Wolfgang, is now opening up and sharing his pain as well.

Calling his famous father "incredibly loving" and "my best friend," the 29-year-old musician — who played in Van Halen himself — appeared on Today Tuesday, November 17, and talked with Carson Daly about his very first solo single, "Distance," a song he wrote about the loss of his dad.

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The tune is accompanied by a video packed with sweet family footage from over the years, which can be watched above. It features adorable and special bonding moments between Wolfgang and Eddie, as well as mom Valerie Bertinelli.

Wolfgang admitted that he knows some people might consider "Distance" to be released too quickly after his dad's passing, but he says the song is coming from the heart, and that any proceeds will go to a good cause.

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"This is just an honest tribute to my father," he told Daly. "Any money that I would have made is going to my dad's favorite charity, Mr. Holland's Opus, that makes sure underprivileged students can get instruments and play music."

The creative outlet no doubt helped Wolf work through his grief, but as he related to Daly, "Some days it's just really hard to get out of bed."

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He said his mom, who was married to Eddie for 26 years, as well as his girlfriend are his main supports right now. "It doesn't seem like the pain is ever really gonna go away. You just kind of figure out how to carry it a bit better," he noted.

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The elder Van Halen died October 6 at the age of 65, following a battle with throat cancer. He had reportedly been battling cancer for several years before his illness was publicly revealed in 2019. He was diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2000 but had an all-clear bill of health by 2002.

In terms of influence, Eddie Van Halen was unquestionably one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most lauded guitarists, named No. 8 in Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 all-time greatest guitarists. His unique playing style helped define the rock and metal genres, as well as anchored one of the most successful bands in rock history.

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