Eddie Van Halen honored with Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Guitar Museum

Eddie Van Halen
(Image credit: Daniel Knighton via Getty Images)

Eddie Van Halen has been honored by the National Guitar Museum with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his contribution to the history and legacy of the electric guitar.

The NGM was founded to "promote and preserve the legacy of the guitar", and for the past 10 years has given the Lifetime Achievement Award to an artist whose talent had an effect on playing guitar, and whose music inspired and influenced other guitarists.

Previous winners span a range of genres, including blues legends BB King and Buddy Guy, heavy metal man Tony Iommi and classical guitarist Liona Boyd.

Van Halen is the first rock guitarist to feature, and the first to be honored in memoriam.

In a statement on social media, NGM said "This year, the year of the pandemic, has given us reason to make an exception to our annual presentation."

It goes on to say "we don't need to explain why Eddie is deserving of such an honor, Eddie would have received the honor at some point in the future. It seemed he still had a lifetime of guitar greatness to give."

"We only wish we could deliver this in person."

Eddie Van Halen tragically passed away earlier this year, sparking international mourning from the music community as a whole, and an outpouring of tributes for the man who changed the way people played the electric guitar.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.