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I know this isn't sports per se but a lot of us grew up listening to Van Halen music and still do. Eddie played like no other, I love the classic DLR lineup.

Eddie Van Halen -- the legendary guitarist and co-founder of Van Halen -- has died after a long battle with throat cancer ... TMZ has learned.

Sources directly connected to the rock star tell us ... he died at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica Tuesday. His wife, Janie was by his side, along with his son Wolfgang and Alex, Eddie's brother and drummer.

We're told in the last 72 hours Eddie's ongoing health battle went massively downhill -- doctors discovered his throat cancer had moved to his brain as well as other organs.

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EVH wrote the famous guitar shred for Michael Jackson's Beat It, another all time great riff, in about 15 minutes. 

He was a true virtuoso of rock guitar. Hopefully in his death, he will get more attention. People today have little concept of listening to an entire album start to finish. I wore out copies of I, 1984, OU812 and For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. VH was a big part of the soundtrack of my youth.

To me Fair Warning is his (and Van Halen's) best work. 

The opening to Mean Street may not be Eruption, but man it absolutely kills. Unchained is for my money the best song VH did. His first foray into the keyboards. Hear About It Later and So This Is Love? are great.

Their first 6 albums were as good as any 6 album run.  

And he married my first celebrity crush...

@packerboi posted:

Incredible artist. Just amazing. 

I heard a rumor it was the steel picks he used to put in his mouth that he blamed for his cancer. 

Regardless, to cancer. RIP Eddie. 

Steel picks causing cancer? Possibly, but I doubt it. Makes me smile because that's something Eddie would definitely say....I'm going to go with he smoked like a friggin train & lotsa hard alcohol too.

pharyngeal pouch or esophageal diverticulum -- Know what that is? It's a little pouch that can collect & hold alcohol (or anything else). How do I know this? My Step Dad died of throat cancer & he drank the hard stuff like Ozzy or Keith Richards amounts. Doctors believe if you drink too much of the hard stuff, it collects there & eventually causes throat cancer.

When I do enjoy some Single Malt or high end Tequila, I'm always finishing with water to help clean out that pouch.

FU Cancer.....RIP Eddie....far & away one of my idols in the music scene. Shedding tears for a man I didn't even know....FU 2020 Just FU

Last edited by Boris

A source close to Van Halen told PEOPLE that the guitar hero had a rapid decline in health over the past three days and that the cancer had "spread to all his organs."

His wife Janie Liszewski, son Wolf and ex-wife Valerie were by his side at the time of his death.

Earlier this year, his former bandmate David Lee Roth told Las Vegas-Review Journal that Van Halen was not doing well.

The iconic guitarist had battled cancer for more than 10 years, according to TMZ. He previously defeated tongue cancer in 2002 after a two-year battle.

Last year, he was admitted to the hospital with intestinal issues after a bad reaction to his cancer treatment.

A Van Halen fan at a young age, loved the Roth years (saw Roth at the Dodge Co. fair when I was to young to buy beer, but buying beer for the ladies anyway).  Women and Children First is my favorite Roth years album.  Big Bad Bill has Eddie and Alex's dad playing on it, great song.  

But I've grown to like the Hagar stuff better.  Hot Summer Nights is my favorite song by VH.  The tone changed and musically they went farther with Hagar.  It's all in 5150, OU812 and FUCK (Balance was not great).  

Not many could do what Eddie did, maybe some viral video drinking cranberry juice will get the kids to see that.  

I was 9 when VH1 came out. My two older brothers played that record repeatedly. Like many, I can hear that record note for note in my head. And also like so many millions, my life and significant memories are totally intertwined with Van Halen's music. So many experiences with so many people where I can vividly recall Van Halen as the soundtrack. Had a good 2 hours earlier where I cranked up the living room stereo and even 40 years later I'm still amazed at how good they were, and of course Ed in particular. And it occured to me tonight- I've heard their stuff thousands of times, and always naturally thought of them as a hard rock band. But really, at heart, at their best, they were the greatest swing band of our lifetime. And listening with that in the front of my head gives me even more appreciation of Eddie and the whole band. Anyone who got to experience VH is truly fortunate to have lived at a time in history where we could be graced with such a phenomenal body of work.