Eddie Van Halen Posthumously Awarded National Guitar Museum’s Lifetime Achievement Honor
The accolades are plenty for guitar great Eddie Van Halen, but there's one more to add to his legacy as the National Guitar Museum has named Van Halen as their Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2020.
Every year for more than a decade, the museum has saluted a living guitarist who has contributed significantly to the legacy of the guitar. The guidelines state 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.
In the museum's announcement, they state: "This year, the year of the pandemic, has given us reason to make an exception to our annual presentation. For 2020, we are recognizing Eddie Van Halen as the recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award. It is being awarded, for the first time, in memoriam."
They continue, "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 conclude, "Several of the people we’ve honored over the past decade have left us in the years since we presented them with the award. In this case, however, the sadness of Eddie Van Halen's passing is somehow harder to accept. Thanks, Eddie. We only wish we could deliver this in person."
Some of the past winners have included Roger McGuinn (2011), B.B. King (2012), Tony Iommi (2015), Glen Campbell (2016) and Bonnie Raitt (2017).
Eddie Van Halen died on Oct. 6 at the age of 65. His influence on guitar playing is immense and his credits lengthy. Van Halen were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.