(CMR) The music world lost musical legends today: guitarist and songwriter Eddie Van Halen (65) and American reggae and pop singer-songwriter Johnny Nash (80).
Van Halen died after a long battle with cancer this morning. In 1972 he formed the band, Van Halen, with his brother Alex on drums. They would go on to become one of the biggest groups in rock history along with bassist Michael Anthony and singer David Lee Roth.
Throughout the late 1970s and early ’80s, Van Halen became increasingly successful. Early hits such as 1979’s “Dance the Night Away” eventually gave way to the bestselling 1984 — the band’s sixth album — which spawned the chart-topping “Jump,” as well as flamboyant hits like “Panama” and “Hot for Teacher.” Peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard albums chart, 1984 was held back only by Michael Jackson’s Thriller, whose iconic “Beat It” just happened to feature a guitar solo from Eddie Van Halen.
Van Halen was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 and is among the top 20 best-selling artists of all time. Rolling Stone magazine put Eddie Van Halen at No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.
Johnny Nash, the Houston-born singer, is best known for his 1972 hit I Can See Clearly Now died this morning of natural causes after years of declining health at his home in Texas. That single sold more than a million copies and remained on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four weeks in 1972.
He also song Tears on My Pillow a 1975 UK number one hit.
He was one of the first non-Jamaicans singers to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica. He actually lived there and was taught how to play the reggae rhythm. He helped reggae legend Bob Marley sign a recording contract. His long musical career started as a child. He is survived by his son, John and wife Carli.