Neil Peart, the drummer and lyricist for the iconic Canadian prog rock band Rush, has died. His death was announced Friday by spokesperson Elliot Mintz, who said that Peart died on Jan. Peart had been diagnosed with brain cancer three and a half years ago. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also saluted Peart on social media.
«We've lost a legend,» he said in a tweet. «But his influence and legacy will live on forever in the hearts of music lovers in Canada and around the world. » «Drumming completely eclipsed my life from age 13, when I started drum lessons,» Peart said. «Everything disappeared.
I'd done well in school up until that time. I was fairly adjusted socially up until that time. And I became completely monomania, obsessed all through my teens. Nothing else existed anymore».
The lineup of the Toronto-based Rush was set in stone as a trio when Peart joined the group in 1974, alongside vocalist, bassist and keyboard player Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, six years after Rush's founding. With Peart's arrival, Rush found its emotional, lyrical and musical core, with songs like «Tom Sawyer» and «Freewill» that appealed to generations of fans. Rush was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. Onstage, Peart worked hard behind his kit, immersed in the rhythm.