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1972 – present (45 years)
Pasadena, Los Angeles County, California, United States
Van Halen is an international hard rock band formed in the early-1970s, originally called Mammoth. The band's first studio album, "Van Halen", released in 1978 is widely regarded as a milestone in rock music. With this first release, the band, featuring David Lee Roth on vocals, Michael Anthony on bass, and Dutch-born Edward Van Halen on guitars (and also keyboards later) and brother Alex Van Halen on drums, established itself as a leader in the emerging and commercially successful U.S. heavy metal music genre of the 1980s. In particular, Eddie Van Halen quickly gained widespread notoriety for his technical prowess and musical sensibility. Almost overnight, he was touted as one of the most innovative and influential American rock and roll guitarists.
From 1978 to 1998 the band released 11 studio albums (with David Lee Roth until 1984, Sammy Hagar from 1986 to 1995 and Gary Cherone from 1998 to 1999), all of which broke the Top 20 spot of the Billboard 200 music charts. Their biggest hit, "Jump", never made it to #1 as Michael Jackson's "Beat It" always held that spot (incidently, this song includes one of the most memorables guitar solos by Eddie, who refused appearing in the video as he expected the song would never become a hit). The band has sold more than 75 million albums worldwide and has received several Grammy nominations, winning the award with their 1991 album "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge" (check the initials of the album). The video for "Right Now" also received several awards, including MTV's Best Video award. Van Halen is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records with the most number one hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock List. According to the Recording Industry Association of America Van Halen is #19 on the list of Top Selling Artists of all time (having sold more than 56 million albums in the U.S.). Van Halen is one of five rock groups that have had 2 albums sell more than 10 million albums in the U.S. (the others being: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Eagles and Def Leppard).
In addition to being recognized for their artistic contributions, commercial success and popularity, the band is known for drama surrounding the lead singer spot. Although the core instrumentalists and backing vocals have remained constant (Edward, Alex and Mike), the band has recorded studio albums with three different lead vocalists: David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone. Each vocalist has departed (at least once) under cloudy circumstances. Following their 2004 concert tour the band is currently on hiatus; once again they have a vacancy in the lead singer position and an uncertain future.
Announcement of Band's Status:
Per the band's official website Van-Halen.com;
February 2, 2007
Los Angeles, CA - In what is no doubt one of the most anticipated moments in rock and roll, VAN HALEN officially announces their 2007 North American tour.
The tour will mark the first time since 1984 that original VAN HALEN front man David Lee Roth will perform with Eddie and Alex Van Halen along with new bassist Wolfgang Van Halen for 40 shows this summer.
VAN HALEN fans can look forward to legendary high intensity performances, featuring a set list of the most iconic hits ever produced by America's premiere rock band.
Eddie Van Halen states, "I am very excited to get back to the core of what made VAN HALEN."
Eddie is still working on 2007 tour, but Wolfgang thought about that and finally refuses to go with his father: "I'm too young for that experience" Wolfie said.
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