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Rush Drummer Neil Peart Dead at 67

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Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP

Neil Peart, the Rush stickman who was widely considered to be one of rock's greatest drummers, passed away after a three-year bout with brain cancer on January 7, in Santa Monica, California, a spokesperson told Rolling Stone on Friday. Peart also penned "wildly imaginative" lyrics for the influential prog-rock band, which he formed with singer-bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson in 1974. In a statement released Friday afternoon, Lee and Lifeson mourned Peart as their “friend, soul brother and bandmate over 45 years." Peart took a brief hiatus from Rush in the late-'90s after his 19-year-old daughter and common-law wife of 23 years died within months of one another, but returned in 2001. “Neil is the most air-drummed-to drummer of all time,” former Police drummer Stewart Copeland said in 2015.