"Just when I thought 2020 couldn't get any worse."
The music world and beyond was left reeling on Tuesday with the devastating news Eddie Van Halen had died.
The guitar legend passed away at 65, after his decade-long battle with cancer took a sudden and tragic turn.
According to TMZ, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer passed at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica with his wife Janie, son Wolfgang, and brother Alex by his side.
Wolfgang, who played bass for the band named after his father, confirmed the awful news on Instagram.
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Wolfgang's mother, Valerie Bertinelli, shared a photograph of the three of them together shortly after his birth with a beautiful tribute to her ex-husband. "40 years ago my life changed forever when I met you," she wrote. "You gave me the one true light in my life, our son, Wolfgang."
"Through all your challenging treatments for lung cancer, you kept your gorgeous spirit and that impish grin," she continued. "I’m so grateful Wolfie and I were able to hold you in your last moments. I will see you in our next life my love."
Twitter was quickly flooded with an outpouring of grief from his fellow rockers and across the music landscape.
"Eddie Van Halen was one of the nicest guys I ever worked with and we shared so many laughs together," wrote Ozzy Osbourne. "His influence on music and especially the guitar has been immeasurable. He was an absolute legend. Eddie, I’ll see you on the other side, my friend."
. @EddieVanHalen was one of the nicest guys I ever worked with and we shared so many laughs together. His influence on music and especially the guitar has been immeasurable. He was an absolute legend. Eddie, I’ll see you on the other side, my friend. Love, Ozzy.
"My heart is broken. Eddie was not only a Guitar God, but a genuinely beautiful soul," Gene Simmons wrote. "Rest in peace, Eddie!"
"Eddie was a one of a kind guitarist and human being," said Joe Walsh in a statement to MSN. "He was a master at his craft, a peer I was in awe of and a friend I loved. I am deeply saddened by this news and Marjorie and I send his family our deepest condolences. The world will be dimmer — and quieter — without him."
"Crushed. So f--king crushed," Nikki Sixx tweeted. "RIP Eddie Van Halen. You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe rockstar."
"Oh man, bless his beautiful creative heart," wrote Flea. "I love you Eddie Van Halen, an LA boy, a true rocker. I hope you jam with Jimi tonight. Break through to the other side my brother."
His former bandmate Sammy Hagar simply wrote: "Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family."
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Oh man, bless his beautiful creative heart. I love you Eddie Van Halen, an LA boy, a true rocker. I hope you jam with Jimi tonight. Break through to the other side my brother. ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/XpcTlPJq9A
Oh NO! Speechless. A trailblazer and someone who always gave everything to his music. A good soul. I remember first seeing him playing at the Starwood in 1976 and he WAS Eddie Van Halen. So shocked and sad. My condolences to Wolfie and the family. https://t.co/ExAWzFAEYJ
Just when I thought 2020 couldn't get any worse, I hear Eddie Van Halen has passed. So shocking- One of the nicest, down to Earth men I have ever met and toured with. A true gent and true genius. RIP. So sad.Thoughts go out to his brother Alex, and his family. pic.twitter.com/fwIw040YMX
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. pic.twitter.com/PY8fyrx1Lu
I’m just devastated to hear the news of the passing of my dear friend Eddie Van Halen. He fought a long and hard battle with his cancer right to the very end. Eddie was one of a very special kind of person, a really great friend. Rest In Peace my dear friend till we meet again. pic.twitter.com/Qs8tsLPANJ
The world lost an icon, innovator, showman, virtuoso, master songwriter and perhaps one of the biggest inspirations ever to learn how to play guitar. Heartbroken to hear of Eddie Van Halen’s passing. Our love, condolences and best wishes to his his family, friends and fans. #RIPpic.twitter.com/pGhPUXRzyb
Rest In Peace to one of the truly greatest musicians of all time. My first guitar hero - the guitarist I grew up listening to in car rides with my family - a man I excitedly share the same birth date and month with: Mr. Eddie Van Halen. pic.twitter.com/cS3ovRrcnj
Beyond the world of music, actors, comedians and celebrities alike shared their grief.
"Two of the best hours of my life were spent chatting with Eddie Van Halen," Jimmy Kimmel shared. "A great musician, yes - also a funny and lovely guy who will be missed terribly. Sending love to Janie, Wolf, Alex & all those who loved him."
"So sorry for your tragic loss @WolfVanHalen, but take solace in knowing that he will be long remembered and live on forever as one of Rock's most extraordinary guitar virtuosos," Mark Hamill tweeted. "Condolences to you, Valerie @Wolfiesmom and the entire Van Halen family."
Bill & Ted writer Ed Solomon said the rocker was a huge influence on his films — so much so that the director insisted on a Van Halen album playing even while he read the script.
Two of the best hours of my life were spent chatting with Eddie Van Halen. A great musician, yes - also a funny and lovely guy who will be missed terribly. Sending love to Janie, Wolf, Alex & all those who loved him.
Super sad to hear about the passing of Eddie Van Halen. He was a big influence on Chris & me as we were writing Bill & Ted. In fact, when director Stephen Herek was reading the script he got 3 pages in, stopped, put on 1984 & resumed. We wanted the movie to be a cinematic “Jump.” pic.twitter.com/B2oTnDMWdH
As a non musician, anyone who can play an instrument impresses me. What's mind blowing is how a genius like Eddie Van Halen can pick up that instrument and make it make a sound only they can. One that's instantly recognizable and will be forever.