Guitar icon and Van Halen co-founder Eddie Van Halen has died after a long battle with throat cancer, reports TMZ. He was 65. According to TMZ, he died Tuesday at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica. He'd been fighting cancer for at least a decade. His son, Wolfgang, wrote this brief tribute:

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 moring.

He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift.

My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss.

I love you so much, Pop.

Van Halen formed in 1972 and became one of the hard rock bands of the '70s and '80s, with Eddie's signature guitar style -- equal parts skill, flash and muscle -- proving highly influential on the glam metal scene in particular, as well as the connective tissue between the David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar years. He was no slouch on keyboards, either. One of the greats.

Eddie continued to perform with Van Halen while being treated for cancer. He was one of the greats. Rest in peace, Eddie.

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