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.”

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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.

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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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