Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist of Rush, dead at 67

After a three-year battle with cancer.

Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist of iconic Canadian prog-rock band Rush, has died. He was 67.

Peart passed away on Tuesday, January 7 in Santa Monica, California, as announced by his spokesperson Elliot Mintz last Friday. The legendary musician had been battling brain cancer for the past three years.

“It is with broken hearts and the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news that on Tuesday our friend, soul brother and bandmate of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredible brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer,” Rush said in a statement on Instagram. “Rest in peace brother.”

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Neil Peart September 12, 1952 – January 7, 2020

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Peart first joined Rush back in 1974, replacing original drummer and founding member John Rutsey. Besides building a reputation as a virtuoso behind the kit, Peart also became the group’s lyrical heart, writing most of the group’s songs since their 1975 sophomore record Fly by Night, helping launch them into stardom. The band were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994, and later into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Peart stepped back from Rush and music in 2015, following progressive medical issues such as shoulder problems and chronic tendinitis. The drummer kept his battle with brain cancer a secret until his passing on January 7. Fellow rock musicians, such as KISS’ Gene Simmons and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl, have since paid tribute to the late musician. Read them below:

Over the course of his 40-year career, Peart released 18 studio albums with Rush, three of which topped the Canadian albums chart. The drummer also authored eight fiction and non-fiction books throughout his lifetime.

RIP Neil Peart. Revisit Rush’s final album, Clockwork Angels, below:


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