Eddie Van Halen died at age 65 after a battle with cancer, his death confirmed on Tuesday by his son. The legendary rock guitarist has since received an outpouring of tributes from famous fans, including Keith Urban, who used his social media accounts to share a black and white photo of Van Halen on stage playing the guitar.
"Just heard the news of Eddie Van Halen's passing ..... this hit me hard," Urban wrote. "There are lots of great guitar players in the world, but very VERY few true innovators. Players who seem to have arrived from a far distant planet , and who bring a completely new color to the rainbow. Eddie Van Halen was this and so much more. Even without the finger tapping, you had a player with extraordinary touch, tone, and a rhythmic pocket and bounce that floated like Ali in the ring."
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Urban, who is himself considered one of the best guitar players in the world, called Van Halen "a master of complex solos that spoke to non musicians." "THAT IS HARD TO DO," he continued. "The reason was the exquisite melody in his heart, and the joy in his soul of playing FOR people - and it came through like a ray of sun we ALL felt. I say a prayer today for his family and friends. - and from players like me , all over the world who never got to meet him, I say THANK YOU EDDIE. WE LOVE YOU !!!!!!!"
Other well-known guitar players, including John Mayer and Lenny Kravitz, also paid tribute to Van Halen on social media. "Eddie Van Halen was a guitar superhero. A true virtuoso," Mayer wrote. "A stunningly good musician and composer. Looking up to him as a young kid was one of the driving forces in my needing to pick up a guitar. I was so blown away watching him exert such control and expression over his instrument. Learning to play the guitar taught me so many things, but still absolutely nothing about how to play like Eddie Van Halen. And for that reason, I never stopped watching him in adolescent awe and wonder, and I promise you I never will."
Kravitz dubbed Van Halen a "Legendary guitar and musical innovator" and declared that "Heaven will be electric tonight."