Eddie Van Halen died at age 65 on Tuesday, October 6. The legendary guitarist and Van Halen cofounder’s only son, Wolfgang Van Halen, confirmed his dad’s death with a heartbreaking statement on Twitter.
“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,” the 29-year-old emotionally wrote alongside a photo of his dad smiling. “He was the best father I could ever ask for.”
In his tribute, Wolfgang reflected on the days of performing alongside his famous father in Van Halen, which Eddie cofounded in 1972. “Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift,” the former Tremonti bassist continued. “My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.”
According to TMZ, the music icon died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The late rocker’s wife, Janie Liszewski, was by his side at the time of his death.
Eddie tied the knot with his second spouse, Janie, in 2009, but he was previously married to his first wife, Valerie Bertinelli. The former couple, who welcomed their beloved son, Wolfgang, in 1991, married in 1981 and were together for more than 20 years.
The “Jump” performer and the Valerie’s Home Cooking host ultimately called it quits because of Eddie’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. Not long after he was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2000, Valerie and Eddie decided to go their separate ways and their divorce was finalized in 2007.
While chatting with Closer Weekly in June 2019, Valerie explained why the two put their differences aside for their only child. “After Ed and I separated, I thought, I’ll finish raising my son,” she revealed at the time.
Although the former couple were no longer together at the time of Eddie’s death, the One Day at a Time alum mourned her late husband’s loss by resharing her son’s touching tribute via her Instagram Stories. A friend close to the ex-lovebirds also dished that Valerie and Eddie were on good terms before his passing.
“They have both forgiven each other and love their son,” the pal told Closer in 2019. “There are no more bad feelings between them.”
Our thoughts are with Eddie’s loved ones during this time.