Refresh for updates… 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 best hours of my life.” Van Halen’s ex-wife, Valerie Bertinelli, simply responded to son Wolfgang 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.
“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 guitarist and co-founder 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…”
Deadline will update this post as reactions arrive…
What a Long Great Trip It’s Been.. pic.twitter.com/M5pmkVi7hW
— David Lee Roth (@DavidLeeRoth) October 7, 2020
Eddie Van Halen and Neil Peart were just too good for 2020.
We all are
My heart is broken
— Sebastian Bach (@sebastianbach) October 6, 2020
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!
— Michael Chiklis (@MichaelChiklis) October 6, 2020
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 6, 2020
I am devastated at the news of the passing of my friend Eddie Van Halen. pic.twitter.com/hUyIdKXsdG
— Kenny Chesney (@kennychesney) October 6, 2020
View this post on Instagram
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 ♥️
RIP Eddie Van Halen, dead today from cancer at 65. He was hilarious, mercurial, brilliant, and had the most beautiful relaxed expression as his fingers flew over the fretboard. He rarely guested for others, so I am priviledged that he played on my album ‘Astronauts and Heretics.’
— Thomas Dolby (@ThomasDolby) October 6, 2020
Just heard the news of Eddie Van Halen’s passing ….. this hit me hard. pic.twitter.com/RMuyq7arjK
— Keith Urban (@KeithUrban) October 6, 2020
Guitars are gently weeping everywhere. Shred In Power Eddie Van Halen.🎸💔
— Diane Warren (@Diane_Warren) October 6, 2020
Sad to hear Eddie Van Halen has passed away. A guitar innovator with a fierce spirit of musical and technical exploration. Prayers and thoughts with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/TI4ipeIXbR
— Yusuf / Cat Stevens (@YusufCatStevens) October 6, 2020
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. pic.twitter.com/PY8fyrx1Lu
— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) October 6, 2020
Legendary guitar and musical innovator Edward Van Halen. 1955-2020. Heaven will be electric tonight. pic.twitter.com/hdLd7atI74
— Lenny Kravitz (@LennyKravitz) October 6, 2020
View this post on Instagram
Oh man. Damn. I love you Eddie Van Halen. A true rocker, a deep musician, a HUGE heart, and an LA boy through and through. A bold innovator and the undisputed king of all wheedlers. What a sound!!! I hope you jam with Jimi tonight and soar freely through the cosmos. A vibrant part of music has left this earth. Broken through to the other side. What a sweetheart, my brother. All love and condolences to your family. ❤️❤️❤️
I lost my mom to cancer at 66.. too damn young. Eddie Van Halen was 65.. too damn young. Another lifetime of memories ahead of them should have been made. This hurts my heart. My mom and I would drive around in her car and blast Panama.. we both loved Van Halen music.
— Dane Cook (@DaneCook) October 6, 2020
So sorry for your tragic loss @WolfVanHalen, but take solace in knowing that he will be long remembered and live on forever as one of Rock's most extraordinary guitar virtuosos. Condolences to you, Valerie @Wolfiesmom and the entire Van Halen family.#RIPEdward https://t.co/XWoCe8nrZv
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) October 6, 2020
— Valerie Bertinelli (@Wolfiesmom) October 6, 2020
Eddie Van Halen truly was a gift for all of us He gave so much music to us i can’t believe he’s gone.He will never be forgotten because he will live thru all he shared with us in music and in life RIP #SSWA https://t.co/xD5ZzLuT2b
— Edward James Olmos (@edwardjolmos) October 6, 2020
Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family. pic.twitter.com/MQMueMF2XO
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) October 6, 2020
I’m just devastated to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen. He fought a long and hard battle with his cancer right to the very end. Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend. Rest In Peace my dear friend till we meet again. pic.twitter.com/Qs8tsLPANJ
— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) October 6, 2020
Of all the guitarists I got to play with, he was my favorite. RIP Eddie Van Halen
— Paul Shaffer (@paulshaffer) October 6, 2020
Rock and roll lost a great man today. Eddie Van Halen, your guitar was legendary, and your music will live on forever.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) October 6, 2020
Eddie Van Halen has passed away at the age of 65.
One of the greatest guitarists of all time, he was an absolute master of his instrument – with technique and melody second to none. pic.twitter.com/tvrNoaN1OR
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) October 6, 2020
My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie! …Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65 from Cancer https://t.co/gITtcndQVv
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) October 6, 2020
There's nothing I could write about Eddie Van Halen today that I didn't already write when he was alive. But he was my favorite guitar player, and I guess he still is (and probably always will be).
— Chuck Klosterman (@CKlosterman) October 6, 2020
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. https://t.co/ExAWzFAEYJ
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) October 6, 2020
— David Alan Grier (@davidalangrier) October 6, 2020
I'm tearful. Fucking, fucking, fucking cancer. Eddie Van Halen gone too soon. Total rock legend. Never met him but admired completely. Jump is a jam! https://t.co/IS63qxMxLY
— Boy George (the truth is in your breath) (@BoyGeorge) October 6, 2020
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.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) October 6, 2020
Crushed. So fucking crushed. RIP Eddie Van Halen. You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe rockstar.
— —Nikki Sixx— (@NikkiSixx) October 6, 2020
Omg…RIP, Edward…Our Thoughts Are Prayers Are With Your Family, Friends & Fans…What An Incredible Loss…Truly An Astonishing Musician…💔💔💔
Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65 from Cancer https://t.co/oA0P9VrnGp
— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) October 6, 2020
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.