Rush drummer Neil Peart dies at 67

Neil Peart
FILE – This June 25, 2015 file photo shows Neil Peart of the band Rush performing in concert during their R40 Live: 40th Anniversary Tour in Philadelphia. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP, File)

Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for the groundbreaking Canadian band Rush, has died at 67 of brain cancer, the band said in a statement Friday.

“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 glioblastoma, the band posted to Twitter.

Glioblastoma is the same form of brain cancer that killed Sens. Edward Kennedy and John McCain.

The band said anyone wishing to express their condolences could donate to a cancer charity of their choice.

Peart joined Rush in 1974, after their first album, and quickly became one of the most idolized drummers in rock music for his ability to not only keep the best over the odd (sometimes very odd) time signatures, but play flourishes atop them that managed to feel natural. Despite the music’s complexity, “he keeps the throb, which is the important thing,” Police drummer Stewart Copeland told Rolling Stone in 2015, the year of Rush’s final tour.

Peart told the magazine that he kept his 16-year-old self in mind when making decisions in life. “It’s about being your own hero,” he said. “I set out to never betray the values that 16-year-old had, to never sell out, to never bow to the man. A compromise is what I can never accept.”

Peart, alongside bandmates Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, and honored for combining “the signature traits of progressive rock with a proto typical heavy-metal sound.”

Their best-known songs include “Tom Sawyer,” “The Big Money” and “The Spirit of Radio.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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In this  file photo dated March 25, 1964, British actor Sean Connery kisses actress Honor Blackman during a party at Pinewood Film Studios, in Iver Heath, England. Blackman, the actor best-known for playing Bond girl Pussy Galore, hasdied of natural causes unrelated to coronavirus, aged 94, according to an announcement Monday April 6, 2020. (AP Photo) (AP)
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CORRECTS MAYOR'S LAST NAME TO CANTRELL INSTEAD OF CAMPBELL - FILE - This April 28, 2019, file photo, shows Ellis Marsalis during the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in New Orleans. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Wednesday, April 1, 2020, that Marsalis has died. He was 85. (AP Photo/Sophia Germer, File)
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(1/44)
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In this B/W file photo dated March 25, 1964, British actor Sean Connery kisses actress Honor Blackman during a party at Pinewood Film Studios, in Iver Heath, England.  Blackman, the actor best-known for playing Bond girl Pussy Galore, hasdied of natural causes unrelated to coronavirus, aged 94, according to an announcement Monday April 6, 2020. (AP Photo, FILE)
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Bill Withers
CORRECTS MAYOR'S LAST NAME TO CANTRELL INSTEAD OF CAMPBELL - FILE - This April 28, 2019, file photo, shows Ellis Marsalis during the New Orleans Jazz &amp; Heritage Festival in New Orleans. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Wednesday, April 1, 2020, that Marsalis has died. He was 85. (AP Photo/Sophia Germer, File)
Rachel Bloom Adam Schlesinger, Jack Dolgen
Joe Diffie performs at "Luke Combs Joins the Grand Ole Opry Family" at Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Al Wagner/Invision/AP)
<p>Joseph Lowery died March 27, 2020 at age 98.</p>
Mark Blum, a veteran stage actor known for films including "Desperately Seeking Susan" and "Crocodile Dundee," has died due to complications from Covid-19.
TERRENCE MCNALLY
Katherine Johnson
Zoe Caldwell
FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2013 file photo, Lynn Cohen arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" at Nokia Theatre LA Live.   Cohen, an actress best known for playing the plainspoken housekeeper and nanny Magda in “Sex and the City,” has died. She was 86. Cohen died Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 in New York City, said her manager, Josh Pultz.  (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Caroline Flack
In this March 1993 file photo, Joseph Shabalala, front left, founder of South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo, stands with the group and Paul Simon, front right, as they pose for a photograph. The founder of the South African multi-Grammy-Award-winning music group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Joseph Shabalala, has died at age 78. Shabalala died at a hospital in the capital Pretoria Tuesday Feb. 11, 2020, his family confirmed to local media. (AP Photo/File)
Robert Conrad
KAHN
CLARK
Kobe Bryant
Jim Lehrer
Terry Jones
"Mean" Gene Okerlund, Rocky "Soul Man" Johnson
Edward "Kookie" Byrnes, Edd Byrnes
David Stern

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