EDDIE VAN HALEN has died aged 65.

The legendary musician and founding member of rock band Van Halen passed away on Tuesday (06.10.20) following a “long and arduous battle” with tongue cancer, his 29-year-old son Wolfgang Van Halen has confirmed.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Wolfgang wrote: "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. 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.

"I love you so much, Pop."

Eddie was widely regarded as a guitar innovator and virtuoso, who led ‘Jump’ hitmakers Van Halen through a career which spanned five decades.

The music icon established himself as one of the all-time great players in rock history, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Most notably, Eddie gained critical acclaim for the influence he had on hard rock and his mastery of the two-handed tapping technique, which he perfected and introduced to a mass audience.

And although he was a guitar master, the musician never learned to read music.

He said in 1980: “I don’t know s*** about scales or music theory. I don’t want to be seen as the fastest guitar in town, ready and willing to gun down the competition. All I know is that rock and roll guitar, like blues guitar, should be melody, speed, and taste, but more important, it should have emotion. I just want my guitar playing to make people feel something: happy, sad, even horny.”

Eddie had been battling cancer since 2000, and had previously undergone hip-replacement surgery in 1999.

The icon also had a history of drug and alcohol abuse that led him to enter a rehabilitation facility in 2007, and had surgery for diverticulitis in 2012.

He is survived by his son, Wolfgang, and his second wife Janie Liszewski, whom he married in 2009.