Eddie Van Halen was a true rock and roll legend. The lead guitarist of popular rock band Van Halen sadly passed away on October 6 at the age of 65 following an ongoing battle with throat cancer. As the music world continues to mourn the loss of such a remarkable songwriter and musician, we’re paying homage to the rock and roll great by looking back at the most thrilling moments of his career.
In 1972, Eddie and his brother Alex Van Halen founded the band that would skyrocket them into stardom. They used their last name as the monicker for the band, and they quickly became a staple of the Los Angeles music scene in the 1970s. Throughout the band’s career, they released 12 studio albums together, earning a massive following in the rock and roll community.Among the group’s greatest hits included tunes like “Jump,” “Panama,” “Hot for Teacher,” and so many more. In the ’80s the band was one of the most successful rock groups of their time. Eddie was even featured as the guitarist on Michael Jackson‘s hit song “Beat It,” showing off his unmatched skill. Van Halen’s success continued well into the ’90s, earning them the coveted Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Future band members even included Eddie’s own son, Wolfgang Van Halen, 29, who played bass for his dad and uncle’s band. By January 2007, Eddie’s place in rock and roll history was finally cemented. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and finally included among the many legends who molded the genre. In the years that followed, Eddie continued to perform for his many fans, and stayed devoted to writing music, encouraging the next generation of artists, and so much more. For the last five years, he was reportedly traveling from the United States to Germany for radiation treatment. It’s truly heartbreaking to think of a world without Eddie Van Halen, whose music meant so much to generations of rock and roll fans and new artists. To see more images from Eddie’s life through the years, take a look at the gallery above.