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Guitar Legend Eddie Van Halen dies at 65

Rock guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen,and co-founder of the popular rock band Van Halen, has died of cancer, his son has announced.

The Dutch-American musician, 65, had been undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

His band, Van Halen, were best known for their song Jump, which hit the top of the US charts in 1984.

His son Wolfgang paid tribute to him on social media, saying he was the best father he could ever ask for.

“My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop,” his son wrote.

Celebrity news website TMZ, which first broke news of his death, said Van Halen died at St Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, California on Tuesday surrounded by his family.

The guitarist had been in and out of hospital in the past year and recently underwent a round of chemotherapy, TMZ reported, citing sources.

He had been living with the disease for years after receiving treatment for tongue cancer in 2000.

Throughout his treatment, Van Halen continued to attend concerts and rehearse music with his son, TMZ said. Van Halen formed Van Halen in the early 1970s in Los Angeles, with his brother Alex as the drummer, David Lee Roth as singer and Michael Anthony on bass.

The band released their eponymous debut album in 1978. The album shot to number 19 on the Billboard charts, becoming one of the most successful debuts of the decade.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, Van Halen received great acclaim for his distinctive guitar parts in many of the band’s hits.

Some of rock’s biggest names have paid their respects on social media.

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons tweeted: “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.”

On Twitter, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea wrote that Van Halen had a “beautiful creative heart”.

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