The range of musicians, actors, directors and creatives around the globe publicly mourning the loss of legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen demonstrates how far his music and his talent reached. In the hour after his death was announced, Twitter was filled with tributes not just from musicians like former bandmate Sammy Hagar, Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx, Lenny Kravitz and Billy Idol, but also director Angelino Ava DuVernay (posted a video tribute) and even Star Wars actor Mark Hamill.
The musician’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, announced the news via Twitter on Wednesday morning, revealing that his father died after a long battle with cancer.
“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” Wolfgang wrote. “He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”
His mother Valerie Bertinelli, who was married to Eddie from 1981 to 2007 retweeted Wolfgang’s statement.
Gene Simmons, bassist and co-lead sing of KISS, reacted to the news via Twitter, honouring Van Halen’s
“My heart is broken,” he tweeted. “Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul.
Former frontman Sammy Hagar posted a picture on a plane with Van Halen stating he was “heartbroken and speechless.”
Motley Crue member Nikki Sixx called Van Halen the “Mozart of rock guitar.”
Geezer Butler, founding member of Black Sabbath, wrote “Just when I thought 2020 couldn’t get any worse, I hear Eddie Van Halen has passed. So shocking- One of the nicest, down to Earth men I have ever met and toured with. A true gent and true genius. RIP. So sad. Thoughts go out to his brother Alex, and his family.”
Fellow guitarist Lenny Kravitz memorialised Eddie Van Halen with a black and white photo showing the musicians famous shirtless bandanna look mid-jump splits. “Heaven will be electric tonight,” Kravitz wrote.
Billy Idol posted a collage of images of the two together and Van Halen performing on stage. “We will miss you,” he wrote.
Flea (Michael Peter Balzary) called the Los Angeles musician a true rocker. The founding member of the Red Hot Chili Peppers hoped that Van Halen would “jam with Jimi tonight” on Twitter.
Director and producer Ava DuVernay posted a broken heart and a live performance of ‘Love Walks In.’
Mark Hamill replied to Wolfgang’s announcement of his father’s passing, urging him to “take solace in knowing that he will be long remembered and live on forever as one of Rock’s most extraordinary guitar virtuosos.”
Comedian Dane Cook also responded to Wolfgang’s heartfelt tribute. “I will be playing your father’s music all day today and reminiscing of all the amazing memories #VanHalen brought to my life,” he wrote.
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello called Van Halen “one of the greatest musicians in the history of mankind.”
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