Eddie Van Halen has died at the age of 65.
According to TMZ, the legendary guitarist passed away in hospital on Tuesday after his throat cancer spread to his other organs.
Eddie fought a long battle with the disease for over ten years and managed to keep his illness a secret from fans as he continued to work and perform.
Signs that the rocker was struggling were only revealed when he was unable to stick to his gruelling shedule.
Eddie, who has been hailed as one of the best musicians of his generation, first opened up about his cancer in 2015 – years after his initial diagnosis.
He was first treated for tongue cancer in 2000 with surgeons forced to remove a third of his tongue.
The op was a success with Eddie declared cancer-free in 2002 but sadly, the disease returned some years later.
Eddie remained hopeful, telling Billboard that he had even given up smoking – having picked up the habit at the tender age of 12.
However, the guitarist had always been adamant that cigarettes had not been the cause of his ill health and instead believed his habit of carrying a metal guitar plectrum around in his mouth had caused the cancer.
“I used metal picks – they’re brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer,” he said.
“Plus, I basically live in a recording studio that’s filled with electromagnetic energy. So that’s one theory. I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible.”
In 2012 Eddie underwent emergency surgery after suffering with a severe bout of digestive disorder Diverticulitis.
The news had to be shared with fans as Eddie had been due to take to the stage in Japan.
A statement explaining the circumstances at the time read: “Eddie Van Halen underwent an emergency surgery for a severe bout of Diverticulitis. No further surgeries are needed and a full recovery is expected within 4-6 months. Van Halen’s scheduled November 2012 tour of Japan is currently being rescheduled and the band looks forward to seeing and playing for their fans in 2013.’
Then in 2019, it was revealed that Eddie had been secretly battling throat cancer for five years.
TMZ reported that the rocker was jetting back and forth to Germany for regular radiation to treat it.
It came to light when he was hospitalised after suffering with severe abdominal pain when complications arose from the prescription drugs he took to treat the disease.
As soon as he was allowed home, Eddie began rehearsing music with his son Wolfgang, who joined Van Halen as their bassist.
The 80s rock group last performed together at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in October 2015.