The country singer called the time they shared the stage “one of the highlights of my touring life in all my summers on the road.”
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Eddie Van Halen
Credit: Icon and Image/Getty Images

Kenny Chesney was one of countless musicians to pay tribute to Eddie Van Halen following news of the rock icon's death on Tuesday.

In a heartfelt Facebook post, the Chesney revealed that he was "devastated" by his friend's passing and reminisced about sharing the stage with the legendary guitarist in Los Angeles in 2006. The country star called it "one of the highlights of my touring life in all my summers on the road."

"He was a friend and a hero to anyone who has ever picked up a guitar and had a dream," Chesney wrote. "I will never forget that night and how happy we both were that our musical paths crossed that night on stage."

Van Halen, who is widely credited as being one of the greatest guitarists of all time, died at the age of 65 following a lengthy battle with cancer. He began receiving treatment for tongue cancer in 2000, and, after surgery to remove roughly a third of his tongue, was declared cancer-free in 2002.

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Nearly a decade later, Van Halen was diagnosed with cancer in his esophagus—a battle he fought to the very end.

"Rest In Peace to the best guitar player that ever lived," Chesney concluded. "We will miss you Eddie Van Halen. Your music will live forever!!"