RUSH drummer Neil Peart has died at the age of 67. He passed away on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California after having been diagnosed with brain cancer, according to a statement issued Friday by family spokesperson Elliot Mintz.
His death was confirmed by Meg Symsyk, a media spokesperson for the Canadian progressive rock trio.
A statement posted on the band's official Twitter page said: "It is with broken hearts and the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news that on Tuesday our friend, soul brother and bandmate of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredibly brave three and a half year battle with brain cancer..."
The statement went on to ask for privacy for Peart's family "from friends, fans, and media alike" and requested that mourners make a donation in Peart's name to a cancer research group or charity of their choice."
"Rest in peace brother," the band's statement concluded.
RUSH had been completely inactive since completing its "R40 Live" tour four years ago. Peart previously said that playing concerts at his age caused too much painful wear and tear on his body and he'd rather call it quits before the performances start declining in quality.
His survivors include his wife Carrie and daughter Olivia.
He was also the author of numerous books, including a number of memoirs exploring his life and travels.
Guitarist Alex Lifeson and bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee have repeatedly said that RUSH will never do a show unless all three musicians agree to take part. They haven't performed as RUSH without Peart since he joined the band in 1974.
For first six years of RUSH's existence, John Rutsey was behind the kit and he played on the band's self-titled debut LP.
In 1997, Peart and his bandmates became the first rock musicians to be inducted into the Order of Canada.
They were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013.