2012 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Popular Music)
Canadian power trio Rush is one of rock music’s most influential and highly regarded bands, ranking third in the world (after The Beatles and The Rolling Stones) for most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band. They have released 39 albums and over 70 singles, sold more than 40 million albums worldwide, and garnered 24 gold and 14 platinum records, and their benefit performances have raised more than $1 million for Canadian charities. Few groups in the history of popular music can approach Rush for longevity, creativity, body of work, and dedication to their art. Nearly 40 years after their arrival on the scene, they maintain a busy touring and recording schedule, to the delight of their loyal fans around the world.
Rush band members Geddy Lee (bass guitar, keyboard and lead vocals), Alex Lifeson (guitar) and Neil Peart (drums) are known for their musical virtuosity, innovation, complex compositions, and eclectic lyrics often inspired by science fiction, fantasy, and philosophy.
Rush’s impressive discography started in 1974 with their self-titled debut album (featuring the hit single “Working Man”). Highlights include Fly by Night (“Fly by Night”), the breakthrough 2112 (a futuristic concept album with a 20-minute title track), Farewell to Kings (“Closer to the Heart”), Permanent Waves (“The Spirit of Radio,” “Freewill”), Moving Pictures (“Tom Sawyer,” “YYZ,” “Limelight”), Signals (“New World Man”), Roll the Bones (“Roll the Bones”), and Snakes & Arrows (“Far Cry”). Their 20th studio album, Clockwork Angels, was released in spring 2012.
Messrs. Lee, Lifeson and Peart are Officers of the Order of Canada (appointed in 1996, the first band so honoured). Among other distinctions, the band has won eight JUNO awards and been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame (1994), the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame (2003) and the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (2010), and received a star on both Canada’s Walk of Fame (1999) and Hollywood Walk of Fame (2010). Rush was profiled in the 2010 documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, directed by Scot McFadyen and Sam Dunn, which won the coveted Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award and the JUNO for Best Music DVD.