The legendary drummer for Canadian rock and roll icons Rush, Neil Peart, has died at the age of 67. It was revealed today that he died in Santa Monica, CA on Tuesday after having been diagnosed with brain cancer.
"It is with broken hearts and the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news that on Tuesday our friend, soul brother and band mate of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredibly brave three-and-a-half year battle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma)," Rush's statement reads on their website. "We ask that friends, fans, and media alike understandably respect the family’s need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful and difficult time. Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil Peart’s name. Rest in peace brother."
A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame along with his Rush bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, Peart is universally regarded as one of the greatest ever rock drummers. He was also the primary lyricist for Rush, and the combination of the band's world-class musicianship and unique, often fantasy- and sci-fi-inspired lyrics made them icons of the prog-rock era.
"When I got 2112 when I was eight years old; it fucking changed the direction of my life. I heard the drums. It made me want to become a drummer... this man was as influential as any religion or any hero or any person in someone’s life," Nirvana and Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl remarked to Rolling Stone magazine in 2013 after inducting Rush into the Hall.
Rush was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and remained beloved, selling out arenas and stadiums around the world, until they played their final concert in 2015.
Peart is survived by his wife Carrie and daughter Olivia.