(NBC News) — Neil Peart, the prodigiously talented drummer and eclectic primary lyricist for the Canadian rock band Rush, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, according to a family spokesman. He was 67.
The cause of death was brain cancer, which he had been battling quietly for three years, according to spokesman Elliot Mintz.
Peart was considered one of the most gifted and electrifying drummers in pop music history, a virtuosic stylist who inspired a cult following with his dazzling fusions of hard rock and jazz.
He was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983, when he was in his late 30s.
He was born on Sept. 12, 1952, and took up drumming as a teenager.