Rush drummer Neil Peart, whose virtuosity at the drum kit made him one of the most accomplished instrumentalists in rock history, has died after a battle with brain, according to the group’s official Twitter account. He was 67.

The Canadian musician and lyricist, who died Tuesday according to the Twitter post, joined in 1974 with singer-bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson to form the progressive rock trio, which was beloved by fans for music that blithely defied the strictures of simple three-chord pop music of the ‘50s and ‘60s.

In its place, Rush delivered expansive, often dizzyingly complex pop music compositions that, along with those of English prog-rock heroes Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, had more in common with the barrier bending music of 20th-century composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Karl Stockhausen than with the blues and country-rooted sounds of early rock ‘n’ roll.

Beginning in 1974 with the album titled “Rush,” the band released a series of gold and platinum albums that extended its popularity into the new millennium.

“Today, Rush is cited as an influence by such diverse bands as Metallica, Foo Fighters, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Primus, Pantera, Tool, Death Cab for Cutie, the Mars Volta, the Smashing Pumpkins, Queensryche and Dream Theatre,” critic Rob Bowman wrote for the threesome’s 2013 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “Metallica’s Kirk Hammett calls Rush ‘the high priests of conceptual rock’.”

At the ceremony in Los Angeles when Rush was welcomed into the Rock Hall, Peart humorously skewered the whole process with a speech in which he repeated the phrase “Blah, blah, blah” during the group’s turn at the microphone.

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