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The late-great Neil Peart © Getty Images

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.”

Geddy Lee posted this tribute: 


Rest in peace, my brother. 💔

A post shared by Geddy Lee (@geddyimages) on

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." 

Posted by Foo Fighters on Friday, January 10, 2020

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: 

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

RIP Neil Peart.. this is too sad for words.... Thank you for your greatness Neil...#NeilPeart #Rush #rip

A post shared by Frank Bello (@thefrankbello) on