A wide range of pop, reggae and rock stars have joined Kenny Chesney's No Shoes Nation over the years, with in-studio collaborations with Chesney scoring No. 1 country music hits for Uncle Kracker and The Wailers.
Chesney's most impressive collaboration may have come in June of 2006, when the namesakes of rock 'n' roll band Van Halen, brothers Alex and Eddie Van Halen, took the stage during a tour stop in Carson, California.
Alex and Eddie joined Chesney and his band for two songs, "Jump" and "You Really Got Me." Chesney handled lead vocals on the former, with his lead guitarist Clayton Mitchell filling David Lee Roth's shoes on the latter.
Amazing stuff, but imagine if Eddie Van Halen had joined forces with Chesney for a country song? Chesney's "Summertime" was No. 1 at the time, and that could've set up quite the crossover moment. It would've been like "No shirt, more vocals in my monitor, no problem."
"I am devastated at the news of the passing of my friend @eddievanhalen," Chesney wrote on Instagram. "He was a friend and a hero to anyone who has ever picked up a guitar and had a dream. Eddie and his brother Alex joined us on stage at one of our stadium shows in Los Angeles and it was one of the highlights of my touring life in all my summers on the road. I will never forget that night and how happy we both were that our musical paths crossed that night on stage. Rest In Peace to the best guitar player that ever lived. We will miss you Eddie Van Halen. Your music will live forever!!"
Eddie Van Halen died on Oct. 6, 2020 following a battle with throat cancer.
According to TMZ, in the last 72 hours, the guitarist's ongoing health battle went "massively downhill." Doctors discovered his throat cancer moved to his brain as well as other organs. Battling cancer for over a decade, he had been in an out of the hospital over the past year, including in November 2019 for intestinal issues, and recently underwent a round of Chemo.
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I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning. He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don’t think I’ll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop.
As shared by Rare, Van Halen's son Wolfgang posted an Instagram photo with the caption, "I can't believe I'm having to write this, but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning. He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I've shared with him on and off stage was a gift. My heart is broken and I don't think I'll ever fully recover from this loss. I love you so much, Pop."