Sad news from the world of music, as one of the most beloved rock drummers and lyricists of all time has passed away.
It was revealed today Neil Peart of the legendary prog-rock group Rush died at his home in California on January 7.
He was 67 years old.
Unbeknownst to fans, Peart had been battling brain cancer for quite some time.
His death was confirmed in a statement from his surviving bandmates:
“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 brain cancer (Glioblastoma)," reads the statement from Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.
"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.
"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.
While he was long considered to be one of the most gifted technical drummers to ever take the stage, for generations of rock fans, Peart was so much more than just a percussion god.
He was also the man primarily responsible for Rush's rich, literary lyrics that tackled topics as varied as environmental collapse to the interplay between science fiction and philosophy.
Throughout his 50 years in the spotlight, Peart's passion for his craft never waned, and he revealed in one of his final interviews that he still takes drum lessons in order to keep his skills sharp.
“It’s about being your own hero,” he once told Rolling Stone.
“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.”
News of Peart's death instantly made his name the top trending topic on Twitter, as tributes poured in from all corners of the entertainment world:
"Thanks for opening the door, Neil. Your thunderous playing, your thoughtful lyrics, and extreme dedication were inspirational to me in every way," tweeted Barenaked Ladies drummer Tyler Stewart.
"There are drummers and then there is Neil Peart. I believe for most of us he was the “one”. I would Rush ( no pun) home from school to play Natural science , subdivisions and numerous other tracks. His playing helped shape the drummer I am today. RIP professor," wrote Charlie Benante of Anthrax.
"F--k this timeline. Definition of gut punched. I feel like I just lost my cool uncle. My cool uncle that was also the best rock drummer to ever live," said comedian Brian Posehn.
"So sad there will never be Rush 50, still thought I’d see them one last time in Toronto doing a one off."
As so many have said today, there will never be another band like Rush or another drummer like Neil Peart.
Our thoughts go out to the rock legend's family during this difficult time.