For many, Eddie Van Halen was the greatest guitar player of all time.  Van Halen died October 6, 2020 as a result of throat cancer.

On December 19, the National Guitar Museum named Van Halen the 2020 winner of the Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

While the guidelines for presentation of the award stipulates that the winner be a “living guitarist who has contributed to the legacy of the guitar”, Van Halen became the first posthumous winner of the award.

The guidelines also stipulate that “the person must have been a performing or recording artist whose talents had an effect on guitar playing—and whose career inspired and influenced other guitar players.”  That certainly describes Eddie Van Halen and his mark on the world of rock.

Speaking on their decision, the National Guitar Museum said, “it is perhaps fitting that we don’t need to explain why Eddie is deserving of such an honor everyone who has ever heard his guitar playing knows. Eddie certainly would have received this award at some point in the future, as it seemed that he still had a lifetime of guitar greatness to give.”

They added, “thanks, Eddie.  We only wish we could deliver this in person.”

Van Halen joins previous winners pioneering Blues guitar man David Honeyboy Edwards, The Byrds founder Roger McGuinn, Blues Legend B.B. King, original James Bond theme and session player Vic Flick, Blues legend Buddy Guy, Black Sabbath found Tony Iommi, Glen Campbell, Bonnie Raitt, Jose Feliciano, and female Classical guitarist Liona Boyd.