Eddie Van Halen Dies at 65 After 'Arduous' Battle with Throat Cancer
A source close to Van Halen told PEOPLE that the guitar hero had a rapid decline in health over the past three days
On Tuesday, Oct. 6, bassist Wolf Van Halen confirmed that his father had succumbed to cancer in a heartbreaking social media post.
"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," Wolf , 29, wrote on Instagram and Twitter. "He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift."
Wolf (born Wolfgang Van Halen) ended his tribute, writing: "My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop."
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 was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.
A post shared by Wolf Van Halen (@wolfvanhalen) on Oct 6, 2020 at 12:26pm PDT
Before launching his solo career, Wolf was his father's bandmate: In 2007, when he was just 16 years old, he replaced Michael Anthony Sobolewski as Van Halen's bassist.
In July, when asked whether his father's legacy was a gift or curse on his own career, Wolf responded "it's really equally both" on social media.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage Eddie and Wolf Van Halen
"Being who I am, I think people at the least will be interested in what my work will sound like, which is very nice," Wolf wrote at. "But on the other hand if it's not exactly what they want to hear or if I don't try to sound 'Van Halen-y' enough for them they'll hate me and won't give me the time of day. ... I'm not trying to be my father, I'm trying to be me."
And his father approved of Wolf's musical path.
A post shared by Wolf Van Halen (@wolfvanhalen) on Jun 21, 2020 at 2:40pm PDT
In a 2015 interview with Guitar World, Eddie, 65, described his son's music as "AC/DC meets Van Halen meets aggressive pop," adding: "The riffs are catchy. It's a little of everything and sounds like a freight train coming at you. I've never heard anything quite like it. It's so powerful that I'm jealous."
Van Halen and his brother Alex founded their namesake band in the 1970s, and he went on to become known as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.
Van Halen married Wolf's mother, actress Valerie Bertinelli, in 1981; the pair split in 2005 and finalized their divorce in 2007.