Legendary guitarist and co-founder of Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen has died after a long battle with throat cancer .

It was said that in the last 72 hours Eddie’s ongoing health battle went massively downhill — doctors discovered his throat cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs.

Eddie has been battling cancer for well over a decade. Our sources say he’s been in and out of the hospital over the past year — including last November for intestinal issues and recently underwent a round of chemo. Though he was a heavy smoker for years, he believes he developed throat cancer from a metal guitar pick he used to frequently hold in his mouth more than 20 years ago. Nevertheless, he continued to attend concerts and rehearse music with his son, Wolfgang, who became Van Halen’s bassist in 2006.

Eddie formed the classic rock group in Pasadena in 1972 with his brother, Alec, on drums, Michael Anthony on bass and David Lee Roth singing. Eddie served as the main songwriter on their self-titled debut album in 1978 which launched the group into rock superstardom in the ’80s. Van Halen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and Eddie is widely considered one the greatest guitar players of all time.

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