In a statement, Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson said: “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, lost his incredibly brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer (Glioblastoma).
“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.”
Peart was an inspiration to a generation of drummers, including Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters, who inducted Rush into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013.
“An inspiration to millions with an unmistakable sound who spawned generations of musicians – like myself – to pick up two sticks and chase a dream. A kind, thoughtful, brilliant man who ruled our radios and turntables not only with his drumming, but also his beautiful words.”
He adds: “I still vividly remember my first listen of 2112 when I was young. It was the first time I really listened to a drummer. And since that day, music has never been the same. His power, precision, and composition was incomparable. He was called ‘The Professor’ for a reason: We all learned from him.”