Rush drummer Neil Peart dead at 67 after battle with brain cancer

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TORONTO — Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for Canadian rock band Rush, died Tuesday at age 67, according to a representative for Geddy Lee.

A family statement says Peart died in Santa Monica, Calif., after battling glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer, for more than three years.

“It is with broken hearts and the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news,” his Rush bandmates said in a joint statement on Friday.

“(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.”

Born in Hamilton, Peart joined Rush in 1974, after the band’s first album, replacing original drummer John Rutsey.

Rush has enjoyed considerable success in both the U.S. and Canada. Several of their albums — “2112,” “Moving Pictures,” “All the World’s a Stage” and “Exit … Stage Left” — have sold more than one million copies each in the U.S. alone.

In 1997, Peart — along with bandmates Lee and Alex Lifeson — became the first rock musicians to be inducted into the Order of Canada.

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

“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,” the band added in their statement.

“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. ”

Peart is survived by his wife, Carrie, and their daughter, Olivia Louise Peart.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2020.

 

David Friend, The Canadian Press