Eddie Van Halen honored at the Billboard Music Awards

Eddie Van Halen tribute at the Billboard Music Awards 2020
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/BBMA2020/Getty Images for dcp / Ron Pownall/Getty Images)

The 2020 Billboard Music Awards took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on October 14, and during the broadcast, the show took a moment to pay tribute to Eddie Van Halen, who passed away at the age of 65 on October 6.

After playing a clip of Van Halen performing Panama at the Billboard Awards in 2015, the camera panned to a shot of Eddie's Kramer Frankenstrat electric guitar onstage.

Singer Kelly Clarkson, who hosted the show, said of Van Halen, "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.

After the Panama clip she added, "That moment is one that all who saw will always remember."

In other Billboard Music Awards news, Tool’s Fear Inoculum nabbed the Top Rock Album award, beating out Slipknot’s We Are Not Your Kind, Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush, the Lumineers’ III and Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride.

The band failed to win the Top Rock Artist category, however, losing out to Panic! At The Disco.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.