Dave Grohl leads tributes to Rush drummer Neil Peart

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has led the tributes to Rush drummer Neil Peart following his death at the age of 67.

Peart, widely considered one of the greatest rock and roll drummers ever, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California, after being diagnosed with brain cancer.

Rush, the band he played with for more than 40 years, confirmed his death on Twitter and paid tribute to their “soul brother”.

Former Nirvana drummer Grohl inducted Peart into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2013 and said he inspired him to pick up drumsticks.

Following the Rush star’s death, Grohl said “the world lost a true giant in the history of rock and roll”.

In a statement released on Instagram, he wrote: “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 said Peart’s nickname of “the professor” was apt because “we all learned from him”.

He added: “Thank you, Neil, for making our lives a better place with your music. You will be forever remembered and sorely missed by all of us. And my heartfelt condolences to the Rush family. God bless Neil Peart.”

Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson also paid tribute to “one of the great drummers”.

He tweeted: “I just heard about Neil Peart passing. I feel real bad about this – he was way too young. Neil was one of the great drummers and he’ll be missed. Love & mercy to Neil’s family.”

Mike Portnoy is best known as the drummer for rock band Dream Theater.

He said: “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 singer and guitarist Paul Stanley said Peart’s death is “so, so sad”.

“I’m just shocked,” he added.

Scott Ian, guitarist for heavy metal band Anthrax, described Peart as “the greatest of all time” while Metallica’s Kirk Hammett said “RIP to a master”.

Canadian rock band Rush was formed in 1968 and is known for hits including The Spirit Of Radio and Tom Sawyer. The power trio also included bassist and singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson.

A statement from the band confirming Peart’s death stated: “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 three-and-a-half year 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 painful and 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.”