Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx remembers Eddie Van Halen as “the Mozart of rock guitar,” and Jimmy Kimmel writes that a conversation with the groundbreaking guitarist were “two of the bewst hours of my life.” Van Halen’s ex-wife, Valerie Bertinelli, simply responded to son Wolf Van Halen’s announcement of the death with a row of broken heart emoji.
Actors, musicians, rock critics and fans of all sorts today are praising and mourning Van Halen, whose innovative, lightning-quick and tap-tap playing took him to the top of guitar great lists and made him a breakout star of early MTV, died today of cancer at 65.
“Heartbroken and speechless,” tweeted Sammy Hagar, who replaced David Lee Roth as the lead singer of the band Van Halen in 1985.
Eddie Van Halen Dies: Guitar Legend Who Influenced Hard-Rock Generations Was 65
“My heart is broken,” tweeted KISS cofounder Gene Simmons. “Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie!” Simmons’ bandmate, Paul Stanley, wrote, “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.”
Black Sabbath cofounder Tony Iommi tweeted, “Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend…”
Tweeted Boy George, “I’m tearful. F*cking, f*cking, f*cking cancer. Eddie Van Halen gone too soon. Total rock legend…”
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