Eddie Van Halen Dies: Rockers React
Following the news of Eddie Van Halen's death, numerous rock artists — including his former Van Halen bandmate Sammy Hagar — saluted the innovative guitarist and songwriter on social media.
"Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family," Hagar tweeted, shortly after Van Halen's son and bandmate Wolfgang revealed that his father died at age 65 after battling cancer.
"My heart is broken," Kiss' Gene Simmons tweeted. "Eddie was not only a guitar god, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie!"
Kiss' Paul Stanley wrote that he's "speechless," calling Van Halen "a trailblazer," a "good soul" and someone who always gave everything to his music." He even shared a memory of watching the guitarist live: "I remember first seeing him playing at the Starwood in 1976 and he WAS Eddie Van Halen. So shocked and sad. My condolences to Wolfie and the family."
"Just when I thought 2020 couldn't get any worse, I hear Eddie Van Halen has passed," wrote Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler. "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."
Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea wrote, "Oh man, bless his beautiful creative heart. I love you Eddie Van Halen, an L.A. boy, a true rocker. I hope you jam with Jimi tonight. Break through to the other side my brother."
Whitesnake's David Coverdale described Van Halen's death as an "incredible loss," calling the late guitarist "truly an astonishing musician." Vernon Reid dubbed him "one of the undisputed GOATS" who "completely altered the direction of the complete culture of guitar as we know it."
Pantera wrote that Van Halen were a "tremendous influence" on the band, including late guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul. "Hopefully they are all rocking out together now!" they added.
Read more reactions to Van Halen's death below.