Rush's Neil Peart dies at age 67

Kathryn Krawczyk

Drummer Neil Peart of the band Rush died at age 67, a family spokesperson confirmed on Friday.

Peart was born in Canada, but was living in Santa Monica, California in recent years, where he died after fighting brain cancer for three years. He, along with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, formed the iconic rock band Rush and toured with the band until he retired in 2015 for health reasons.

While Peart wasn't Rush's original drummer, he joined the band just ahead of its first U.S. tour in 1974 and helped lead its eventual rise to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame status. "Along with penning impressive lyrics," wrote CBC News, "Peart was renowned for his proficiency on drums and expertly weaving together techniques from different musical genres, blending jazz and big band with hard rock."

Lee and Lifeson released a statement Friday afternoon remembering Peart as their "friend, soul brother and bandmate over 45 years." He had been "incredibly brave" in his fight with glioblastoma, they said, and went on to "ask that friends, fans, and media alike understandably respect the family's need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful and difficult time."

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