Stars from across the rock world have been paying tribute to legendary Rush drummer and lyricist Neil Peart, who has died of brain cancer aged 67.
Family spokesperson Elliot Mintz first broke the devasting news this evening that Neil Peart had lost a three-and-a-half-year battle with brain cancer on Tuesday 7th January 2020. Mintz said he passed away in Santa Monica, California where he resided.
Minutes after Mintz’s confirmation, Peart’s Rush band mates of more than four decades, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, released a joint statement, which reads:
“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).
“We ask that friends, fans, and media alike understandably respect the family’s need for privacy and peace at this extremely difficult time. Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil’s name.
“Rest in peace brother.”
Neil Peart September 12, 1952 - January 7, 2020 pic.twitter.com/NivX2RhiB8— Rush (@rushtheband) January 10, 2020
Geddy Lee posted this tribute:
One of the greatest drummers of all time, who influenced countless other musicians, stars from across the rock world - and beyond - have been paying poignant tribute to Neil Peart tonight.
Foo Fighters frontman and Rush super-fan, Dave Grohl, said in a statement: “Today, the world lost a true giant in the history of rock and roll. An inspiration to millions with an unmistakable sound who spawned generations of musicians (like myself) to pick up two sticks and chase a dream. A kind, thoughtful, brilliant man who ruled our radios and turntables not only with his drumming, but also his beautiful words.”
Grohl added: “I still vividly remember my first listen of 2112 when I was young. It was the first time I really listened to a drummer. And since that day, music has never been the same. His power, precision, and composition was incomparable. He was called ‘The Professor’ for a reason: we all learned from him.”
Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins simply said: "Neil Peart had the hands of God. End of Story."
In a poignant Facebook post, Sons of Apollo and ex-Dream Theater star, Mike Portnoy, said: “It absolutely breaks my heart to pieces to get the news of the passing of one of my greatest heroes of all time.
“Neil Peart will always be a mentor and a hero to me and his influence on me as a drummer for the past 40 years is absolutely impossible to measure.”
KISS’s Paul Stanley said: “Absolutely Horrible News. Neal Peart has died after fighting brain cancer for years. His later life was filled with so much family tragedy. So, so sad. I’m just shocked.”
His band mate Gene Simmons commented: “My prayers and condolences to the Peart Family, Fans and Friends. Neil was a kind soul. R.I.P”
Black Sabbath’s Geezer Butler simply wrote: “Sad to hear of Neil Peart passing. RIP.”
You can read tributes as they come in below:
Thank you Neil. Thank you for inspiring me and for all your help and advice along the way, especially in the early days when you took the time to talk to a young green Danish drummer about recording, gear and the possibilities that lay ahead... Thank you for what you did for drummers all over the world with your passion, your approach, your principles and your unwavering commitment to the instrument! Rest In Peace.
It absolutely breaks my heart to pieces to get the news of the passing of one of my greatest heroes of all time. Neil...Posted by Mike Portnoy on Friday, January 10, 2020
My prayers and condolences to the Peart Family, Fans and Friends. Neil was a kind soul. R.I.P....... Rush Drummer Neil Peart Dead at 67 - Rolling Stone https://t.co/icYz6fnXfE— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) January 10, 2020
Absolutely Horrible News. Neal Peart has died after fighting brain cancer for years. His later life was filled with so much family tragedy. So, so sad. I’m just shocked. pic.twitter.com/EM4Ea1quaY— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) January 10, 2020
It is unbelievably sad to hear that my favorite drummer of all time, Neil Peart, has left us. Very hard to find words to properly express the level of inspiration & influence he had on so so many musicians. He will forever remain at the top of my list. Farewell to a true king. pic.twitter.com/A9QkSWg2f9— King Diamond (@kingdiamond) January 10, 2020
The greatest of all time. RIP Neil Peart. I’m going to go raise a glass and then air-drum the shit out of Tom Sawyer. https://t.co/pL3xL4PUa0— Scott Ian (@Scott_Ian) January 10, 2020
R.I.P. To the drum legend/ lyricist extraordinaire known as Neal Peart!!!! Another rock icon/legend gone much too soon!!! Now he’s in the arms of his wife and daughter again!!!! Godspeed...😔🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/Ai5w8nCLcH— John Corabi (@Crablegs59) January 10, 2020
Really sorry to hear about Neil Peart’s passing. He was an amazing drummer and made a huge ccontribution to Rock music. All my best to Alex and Geddy.— Tom Hamilton (@THaerosmith) January 10, 2020
Long Live Neil Peart - a quick video from behinds Neil’s kit- watch, feel and repeat pic.twitter.com/U2z9TLyfcg— Stephen Perkins (@stephenperkins) January 10, 2020
So sorry to hear the news of Neil Peart passing. We’ve lost another one of the greats. RIP. pic.twitter.com/hOr0x4hnDm— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) January 11, 2020
Nothing takes the wind out of my sails more than the loss of a great musician... https://t.co/qDIc8qangr— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) January 10, 2020
I’m sorry to hear about the death of Neil Peart, fabulous drummer of great band Rush.— Steve Hackett (@HackettOfficial) January 11, 2020
RIP Neil... You were one of the Best.... And Rush was one of the 1st Live Shows I went to see as a Teenager... Always Loved them, always will... ♥️🙏🏻😘 My Sincere Condolences to All Family & Friends.... xhttps://t.co/p8aFPLscLF— Julian Lennon (@JulianLennon) January 11, 2020
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 .I💜Neil Peart— Charlie Benante (@skisum) January 10, 2020
I just heard about Neil Peart passing. I feel real bad about this - he was way too young. Neil was one of the great drummers and he’ll be missed. Love & mercy to Neil’s family.— Brian Wilson (@BrianWilsonLive) January 10, 2020
– Brian pic.twitter.com/T5qjECWX1W
RIP Neil Peart. A true artist and a sweet, good guy. And probably the most air drummed drummer of all time. This is my tribute...air drumming one of THE greatest, iconic drum moments in rock history. #neilpeart #rush https://t.co/01RW6pYWIl— Josh Freese (@joshfreese) January 10, 2020
Rest In Peace, Neil Peart pic.twitter.com/s7COUggkze— Cheap Trick (@cheaptrick) January 10, 2020
Sadly I felt there was going to be a loss of colossal proportions in the music world and here it is, Neal Peart, the MASTER of skins for generations!...my heart is broken, the music world will mourn HARD today and for some time! pic.twitter.com/nrUshzIkqj— Jeff Scott Soto (@jeffscottsoto) January 10, 2020
At the end of a crazy @rockhall night in 2013 where @rushtheband & @PublicEnemyFTP were inducted. It was just myself & Neil PEart alone talkin & laughing low in relief the long night was over-a small table backstage sharing a unique moment without much word. Rest in Beats my man— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) January 10, 2020
Rest In Peace Neil Peart. So sad to hear.— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) January 10, 2020