Peart died in Santa Monica, California, on Tuesday, family spokesman Elliot Mintz told CNN. The musician had been battling brain cancer for several years.
Peart was central to the band’s success with his meticulous, fluid and exactingly precise playing.
Peart was also Rush’s primary lyricist, drawing inspiration from sources like Ayn Rand and Mark Twain.
The band’s song “Tom Sawyer” is considered its biggest hit to this day, and still receives heavy rotation at rock and roll radio station around the world.
There were more: “The Spirit of Radio.” “Subdivisions.” “Closer to the Heart.”
“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.”
Peart is survived by his wife Carrie and daughter, Olivia Louise.
The band suggested anyone wishing to express their condolences should make a donation to a cancer research group or charity in Peart’s name.
CNN’s Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.