Kenny Chesney / Instagram
On October 6, the world was shocked to hear that rock and roll icon Eddie Van Halen had passed away at the age of 65. Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, shared a statement about his death on Twitter:
“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his arduous battle with cancer this morning,” Wolfgang wrote. “He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”
After news of Eddie’s death broke, fans and celebrities alike took to social media to share their sorrow. Many country artists who were influenced by Eddie’s music wrote emotional tributes to a man they considered to be a legend.
Look below to see how some country singers responded to the news of Eddie’s passing.
“He shaped the sound of a generation with his guitar mastery, ” Big & Rich wrote alongside two photos of Eddie from different stages of his life.
Kenny and Eddie were friends, so Kenny was “devastated” when he learned Eddie had passed away. “He was a friend and a hero to anyone who has ever picked up a guitar and had a dream,” Kenny said.
As a guitar player himself, Keith looked up to and admired Eddie. That made the news of his death extra challenging for him to come to terms with.
“I say a prayer today for his family and friends.- and from players like me , all over the world who never got to meet him, I say THANK YOU EDDIE. WE LOVE YOU !!!!!!!” Keith said.
Lindsay, like Keith, is a guitarist, so she fully understands how influential Eddie was in the music world. “Your music, your spirit and your legacy will live on. Thank you for everything you taught us, EVH,” she wrote on Instagram after Eddie passed away.
Another country music guitar player, Brad was deeply saddened to learn of Eddie’s death. “Thank you Eddie for being a pioneer. It’s unimaginable what the guitar would be without you,” he said.
In a post on Twitter, Jason reflected on how he had just played one of Eddie’s songs the day before he passed away. “No musician ever brought me more joy than #EddieVanHalen. Grateful,” he said.
Tim reflected on how Eddie’s music was “the soundtrack” to various phases of his life. In Eddie’s honor, he said “I think I’ll kick back tonight, put on some Van Halen music…and remember.”
Phil’s statement was short and to the point, but it said what so many people are thinking right now. “I am so devastated by the passing of the rock legend Eddie Van Halen,” he wrote. He also shared a video of himself jamming out to some Van Halen music.
Charlie Daniels Jr. said he was unsure if his late father ever got the chance to meet Eddie. But he shared his own experience getting to go backstage at a Van Halen show in the 80s, writing, “He will be sorely missed.”
The Rascal Flatts member shared his heartbreak over Eddie’s death. “My God. Another legend taken away from us…. This is absolutely heartbreaking…. 2020 just keeps on and on and on…” he wrote on Instagram.
Yet another Rascal Flatts member reacted to Eddie’s passing. Joe Don wrote, “Sending peace + light + love to the EVH family & his band mates tonight & beyond. RIP my super hero.”
Travis’ message about Eddie’s death was brief, but emotional. He simply said “Another legendary innovator gone too soon.” We couldn’t agree more.
Tune in to the clip below to watch Brad Paisley play Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher” some years ago. It just goes to show how much of an influence Eddie was on him and the many other artists who treasured his music.