Guitar rock legend Eddie Van Halen dies of cancer

Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen has died of cancer. He was 65.

In this June 22, 2004 photo, Eddie Van Halen plays during the Van Halen concert at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey (Photo: AP)

The lead of the group Van Halen, known for his expert control and invention, Eddie was a rock legend, counted by many as among the greatest guitarists ever.

Known for his scorching part in Michael Jackson’s Beat It, Van Halen passed away today, a family contact confirmed.

Van Halen’s band is among the top 20 best-selling acts of all time, and the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. The Dutch immigrant was a classically trained pianist who “changed our world”, said Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue on Twitter.

The band Van Halen was created in 1974 and included Van Halen, his brother Alex, vocalist David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony.