Kenny Chesney paid tribute to his late friend Eddie Van Halen on social media on Tuesday, remembering the legendary guitar player with a pair of photos from one of Chesney's shows in Los Angeles, where he was joined by Van Halen and his brother Alex. The first photo was the three backstage together, Van Halen holding a guitar, and the second was a group shot with the rest of Chesney's crew.
"I am devastated at the news of the passing of my friend [Eddie Van Halen]," the singer wrote. "He was a friend and a hero to anyone who has ever picked up a guitar and had a dream. Eddie and his brother Alex joined us on stage at one of our stadium shows in Los Angeles and it was one of the highlights of my touring life in all my summers on the road. I will never forget that night and how happy we both were that our musical paths crossed that night on stage. Rest In Peace to the best guitar player that ever lived. We will miss you Eddie Van Halen. Your music will live forever!!"
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In a fan video from the show, Van Halen plays the intro to his band's cover of The Kinks' "You Really Got Me" before Chesney begins singing the song, the performance complete with a guitar solo from Van Halen.
The guitar player died at age 65 after a battle with cancer. His death was confirmed on Tuesday by his son, Wolf. "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 morning," Wolf wrote in a message on social media. "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," he concluded. "I love you so much, Pop."
A source close to Van Halen told PEOPLE that the musician's health rapidly declined in the last three days of his life and that cancer had "spread to all his organs." Van Halen's wife, Janie Liszewski, Wolf and his ex-wife, Valerie Bertinelli, who is Wolf's mom, were with him when he died.