Legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart has died at the age of 67 on Jan. 7th after a long battle with brain cancer.

Rolling Stone confirmed the drummer’s death with a representative for the band and Peart family spokesperson Elliot Mintz stated that the drummer was fighting brain cancer for the last three years.

Peart joined the Canadian progressive rock trio Rush in 1974 following the release of the band’s self-titled debut album. In addition to serving as the group’s drummer ever since, he was also the chief lyricist within Rush.

Peart was born on Sept. 12, 1952 in Ontario, Canada and went on to join Rush at the age of 22, making his debut with the band on their 1975 album Fly By Night. He immediately made an impact on the group, as evidencing by his raucous style heard on the title track.

Pulling in outside influences such as jazz, Peart’s style became increasingly more progressive, as did Rush’s sound by 1976 when they released the epic 2112, which opened with the 20-minute title track which featured seven movements.

Listen to ‘Tom Sawyer’ by Rush below

Despite being a world-famous drummer, Peart told Rolling Stone that he still took drum lessons as recently as 2012.
“I’ve been put in this position, and I certainly don’t underrate that,” he said. “I get to be a professional drummer … So it’s a full-time responsibility. It’s a joyous one and one I’m very grateful for.”

In total, he played on 18 of Rush’s 19 studio albums, the last being Clockwork Angels, which was released in 2012.

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Following Rush’s “R40” tour celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary, Peart announced his retirement from the band in 2015.

Neil Peart’s influence on modern drumming in all aspects of heavy music can never be understated and his name will forever be synonymous with the title of “legend.”

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Neil Peart.

You can look at the official announcement tweet of Peart’s passing below.