'Rush' drummer Neil Peart dead at 67

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(CNN WIRE) -

Neil Peart, whose virtuoso chops and artful lyrics propelled his band Rush to global stardom and sealed his place as one of the greatest drummers in rock music, has died, according to a family spokesman. He was 67.

Peart died in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday after a battling brain cancer for several years, the spokesman, Elliot Mintz, told CNN.

He's survived by his wife Carrie and daughter, Olivia Louise.

Peart joined the Canadian band in 1974, and together Rush went on to sell millions of records and develop a massive, dedicated fan base.

The band confirmed Peart's death on Twitter on Friday, saying their "friend, soul brother and band mate" had been fighting glioblastoma for three and a half years.

The band suggested anyone wishing to express their condolences should make a donation to a cancer research group or charity in Peart's name.

Rush was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Despite being a world-famous drummer, Peart told Rolling Stone that he still took drum lessons as recently as 2012.

"I've been put in this position, and I certainly don't underrate that," he said. "I get to be a professional drummer ... So it's a full-time responsibility. It's a joyous one and one I'm very grateful for."

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