Rush drummer Neil Peart dies aged 67 after 'brave battle'

Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist of the Canadian rock group Rush, has died at 67 in California of brain cancer, the group announced on Friday (local time).

"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 battle with brain cancer, glioblastoma," they said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Rush was founded in 1968 and Peart joined in 1974, replacing John Rutsey, alongside singer and bass player Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson.

Rush drummer Neil Peart has died aged 67. He is seen here performing on stage during the R40 LIVE Tour at KeyArena on July 19, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. Source: Mat Hayward/Getty Images

After starting out in hard rock and moving gradually toward jazz rock, Peart was known for his flamboyant style and very precise technique, which won him a legion of admirers among professionals and fans.

Questlove, the drummer for hip-hop group The Roots, posted a black and white photo of Peart on Instagram sitting behind his imposing drum set, sending his condolences.

Danish drummer Lars Ulrich of Metallica also said on Instagram Peart was a big inspiration for him.

Rush entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. The band sold 25 million albums in the United States.

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