LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/CBS SF) — Rock legend Eddie Van Halen, a virtuoso guitarist who redefined how the instrument was played with the platinum-selling band he co-founded, has died of cancer at the age of 65.

The rocker’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen, confirmed the death of his father Tuesday afternoon with a tweet, saying that Van Halen had “lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning.”

Van Halen was the guitarist, main songwriter and founder of the influential Los Angeles hard-rock band Van Halen, which also included his brother Alex on the drums, bassist Mark Stone and charismatic frontman David Lee Roth.

Longtime bassist Michael Anthony would round out the classic line-up of the group that released a string of platinum albums starting with the band’s groundbreaking eponymous release Van Halen in 1978.

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