Rock and Pop Star Deaths in 2020

Neil Peart

Band: Rush

Position: drummer

Died: Jan. 7

Cause: brain cancer

Age: 67

Distinctions: Known for his spectacular drumming style and lengthy concert solos, Neal Peart also wrote Rush's lyrics. The Canadian trio featured falsetto-voiced frontman/bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson as well.  They recorded 18 albums from 1974-2012 (14 hit the Top 10) and had hits with "New World Man" (No. 21, 1982), "Limelight" (No. 18, 1981) and "Tom Sawyer" (No. 44. 1981). Rush were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. They stopped performing as a group two years later.

Charli Persip (nee Charlie) - July 26; Newark, NJ-born jazz drummer toured and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie from 1953-1961 as well as with other performers like Quincy Jones, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Ernestine Anderson and Lee Morgan; cause undisclosed; was 91.

Judge "Lucky" Peterson - May 17; Dallas-based blues guitarist/keyboardist recorded 32 albums from 1969-2019, starting with his debut album when he was just five years old; cause undisclosed; was 55.

John "Bucky" Pizzarelli - Apr. 2; the jazz guitarist from New Jersey recorded 36 albums from 1961-2007; had COVID-19; was 94.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.