How These Famous Rock Stars Reacted To Eddie Van Halen's Death

Eddie Van Halen, founder of the eponymous rock band and an icon of rock music whose iconic guitar riffs inspired many to pick up a guitar and try for themselves, died in 2020 at the age of 65 following a brave, decade-long battle with throat cancer. As the main songwriter for his legendary band Van Halen, he helped usher in an era of arena rock and big hair that would define the 1980s.

The band was made up of Eddie Van Halen, his brother Alex, bassist Michael Anthony — who was eventually replaced with Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang – and singer David Lee Roth, who, after 1985, was infamously replaced by singer Sammy Hagar. Eddie Van Halen, along with the other band members, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

His loss was felt around the world. Here are how other musicians and rock icons reacted to Eddie Van Halen's death.

How Flea reacted to Eddie Van Halen's death

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea posted a photo of Van Halen on his Instagram account, wishing his family love. He called Van Halen "the undisputed king of all wheedlers" and hoped Van Halen would be reunited with another guitar legend, Jimi Hendrix, in heaven where they would rock out together.

"Oh man. Damn. I love you Eddie Van Halen. A true rocker, a deep musician, a HUGE heart, an LA boy through and through. A bold innovator and the undisputed king of all wheedlers. What a sound!!! I hope you jam with Jimi tonight and soar freely through the cosmos. A vibrant part of music has left this earth. Broken through to the other side. What a sweetheart, my brother. All love and condolences to your family."

The brilliant bassist had named both Van Halen and Hendrix as his inspirations.

How Lenny Kravitz, KISS, and Billy Idol reacted to Eddie Van Halen's death

Another guitar legend Lenny Kravitz tweeted his sadness at Van Halen's death, posting an iconic photo of Van Halen mid-jump onstage. "Legendary guitar and musical innovator Edward Van Halen. 1955-2020. Heaven will be electric tonight," Kravitz wrote.

KISS lead singer Gene Simmons took to Twitter to express his sadness. "My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Eddie! ... Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65 from Cancer," he said. Fellow KISS member and lead guitarist, Tommy Thayer, also tweeted his reactions to Van Halen's death, saying "So sad to hear this," along with an article about his passing.

Billy Idol posted several photos of the two on Twitter and said: "Rest in peace guitar legend Eddie Van Halen. Broken heart. We will miss you. #f*ckcancer @eddievanhalen #eddievanhalen."

How Sebastian Bach, Brian Wilson, and Nikki Sixx reacted to Eddie Van Halen's death

Former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach honored both Van Halen and Rush drummer and songwriter Neil Peart in his tweet. Peart died in January 2020 from a three-year battle with brain cancer. "Eddie Van Halen and Neil Peart were just too good for 2020. We all are. My heart is broken," Bach said.

Brian Wilson, founder of the Beach Boys, tweeted that Van Halen was loved in LA. "I just heard about Eddie Van Halen and I feel terrible about it. Eddie was such a great guitarist and I remember how big Van Halen was, especially here in L.A. Love and Mercy to Eddie's family & friends."

Mötley Crüe founder Nikki Sixx also tweeted his condolences. "Crushed. So f*cking crushed. RIP Eddie Van Halen. You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe rockstar," he wrote.

How Kenny Chesney reacted to Eddie Van Halen's death

Even musicians from other genres weighed in. Country star Kenny Chesney also paid tribute to Van Halen, recounting a story when the two performed on stage. Chesney said he was devastated and shared backstage photos.

"I am devastated at the news of the passing of my friend Eddie Van Halen. 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!!" Chesney wrote.

How Sammy Hagar reacted to Eddie Van Halen's death

Of course, member's of Eddie's own band were very affected by his passing. Sammy Hagar was the lead singer for a decade, although it wasn't always smooth sailing. He left the band and was replaced, but then eventually returned for a reunion. Hagar last sang with Van Halen in 2004, and it was a disaster. Even with all the drama the band Van Halen went through over the years, the closeness between the members could not be denied. The death of someone you shared a stage with night after night for 10 years will always hit hard, even if it wasn't always a good experience.

Sammy Hagar paid tribute to his friend on Twitter and posted a photo of the two of them while traveling. His message was short and simple. "Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family," he said.