The musician’s son, Wolfgang, is the one who announced the news to fans, posting a sweet photo of his dad along with a heart-breaking message.
“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning,” he 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.”
He continued, “My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”
Following the band’s first two decades of success, Van Halen was burdened by personal and health issues that would interfere with his work over the course of the next ten years. A chronic joint problem forced the musician to undergo hip replacement surgery in 1999. The onset of cancer led to the removal of part of his tongue in 2000.
Eddie has been battling cancer for well over a decade now. According to reports from TMZ, he has been in and out of the hospital over the past year and recently underwent a round of chemo. In the last 72 hours, his ongoing health battle is said to have went massively downhill, with doctors discovering that his throat cancer moved to his brain and other organs.
Eddie Van Halen died at St. John‘s Hospital in Santa Monica on Tuesday with his wife, Janie, his son, Wolfgang, and his brother, Alex by his wide.