GUITAR legend Eddie Van Halen has died, aged 65.

The virtuoso - famed for his technical prowess and speed on the fretboard - had been battling throat cancer. 

In a statement shared on Twitter his son, Wolfgang, said he died on today (October 6).

“I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning," he said.

“He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.

“My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss.”

He added: “I love you so much, Pop.”

Rock group Pantera tweeted that Eddie's band - Van Halen - had been a “tremendous influence” on their music.

“RIP Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen were a tremendous influence on both Vinnie & Dime & Pantera. Hopefully they are all rocking out together now,” the band’s Twitter account posted.

Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson also paid tribute.

"I just heard about Eddie Van Halen and I feel terrible about it," he said.

"Eddie was such a great guitarist and I remember how big Van Halen was, especially here in L.A. Love and Mercy to Eddie’s family and friends."