2020 Billboard Music Awards Pays Tribute to Eddie Van Halen
During the music awards show, host Kelly Clarkson honored the late Van Halen guitarist among other entertainers who died this year. Eddie Van Halen, aged 65, died last week (Oct. 6) following a battle with throat cancer.
Following the rocker's death, many tributes from fellow musicians followed. Those included kind words from his Van Halen bandmates as well as moving salutes from artists including Jack White, G.E. Smith, Anthrax's Charlie Benante and even country artists such as Dierks Bentley, among others.
Rock and metal lost other significant contributors this year, such as Power Trip's Riley Gale, Quiet Riot's Frankie Banali and Uriah Heep's Lee Kerslake. But Eddie Van Halen's death was still fresh in music fans' minds when the 2020 Billboard Music Awards aired on Wednesday.
With one of the guitarist's unmistakable Frankenstrat guitars onstage at Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre, Clarkson spoke of the musician's accomplishments. She also pointed out that Van Halen appeared on the BBMAs stage in 2015, when the band performed "Panama" with vocalist David Lee Roth.
"Tonight is a celebration of the music of today that we love," the host said. "But it's also an opportunity to remember those from our community who are no longer with us. Sadly we lost so many of our friends and family over the past year: Juice Wrld, Kenny Rogers, Helen Reddy, Pop Smoke, Mac Davis and Little Richard, to name but a few."
Clarkson continued, "And just a few days ago, a true giant was taken from us, Eddie Van Halen. He was a legendary guitarist, an amazing musician and an incredible songwriter. Five years ago, he brought his band to the Billboard Music Awards stage in Las Vegas for one of their rare live TV performances. And what made that moment even more special is that he was joined by his son, Wolfgang. That moment is one that all who saw it will always remember."
Wolfgang Van Halen, who had been performing as Van Halen's bassist before EVH's death, has paid tribute to his father in the last week with plenty of heart-tugging photos and insightful words of remembrance.
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