Awards - Drumming

Updated: 12/20/2020

Most recent awards

  • Modern Drummer Neil Peart Lifetime Achievement award: Awarded posthumously on September 12, 2020, as part of the 2020 Modern Drummer festival (virtual due to COVID-19 pandemic).

  • Percussive Arts Society Hall of Fame award (May 18, 2020, awarded posthumously). Neil was honored along with Garry Kvistad and Ndugu Chancler. Read Neil's induction and watch the video here

  • DRUM! Magazine Drummer of the Year 2016

  • Modern Drummer Readers Poll 2015: Clockwork Angels Tour (15 total Best Recorded Performance awards)

  • Modern Drummer Reader's Poll 2014: #1 Educational Book - Taking Center Stage by Joe Bergamini and Neil Peart

  • Modern Drummer Reader's Poll 2013: MVP, Best Prog Drummer

  • Modern Drummer Reader's Poll 2012: Best Prog Drummer

  • Modern Drummer Reader's Poll 2012: Best Educational Video - Taking Center Stage

  • Classic Drummer 2011 Hall of Fame

  • DRUM! Magazine Best Live Performer 2011

  • Modern Drummer: Best Recorded Performance: 2007: Snakes & Arrows

  • Modern Drummer: Best Rock Drummer: 2007

All awards

Modern Drummer Reader's Polll

DRUM! magazine's Drummie Awards

Classic Drummer 2011 Hall of Fame

Modern Drummer Reader's Poll

Each year, Modern Drummer invites readers to participate in a poll rating drummers in different styles of music, as well as other categories. Neil Peart has consistently placed at the top of these polls since 1980. This is one of the reasons Neil is so well regarded in the drumming community. Perhaps his greatest achievement is that he won Best Recorded Performance for every album from Moving Pictures to Different Stages (basically, whenever Rush released a new album). To give you some perspective, the only other drummers to be awarded Best Recorded Performance more than once are Mike Portnoy (8 times) and Dave Weckl (2 times).

Neil Peart, Modern Drummer, 1982

Best Recorded Performance (audio except where noted):

1981: Moving Pictures
1982: Exit... Stage Left (Live)
1983: Signals
1985: Grace Under Pressure
1986: Power Windows
1988: Hold Your Fire
1989: A Show of Hands (Live)
1990: Presto
1992: Roll The Bones
1993: Counterparts
1997: Test for Echo
1999: Different Stages (Live)
2006: R30 (Live)
2007: Snakes & Arrows
2015: Clockwork Angels Tour
2015: Neil Peart: Taking Center Stage (with Joe Bergamini) (Video performance)
2016: R40 (Video performance)

Drumming Categories:

  • Educational Book: 2014 - Taking Center Stage by Joe Bergamini and Neil Peart
  • MVP: 2013
  • Best Prog Drummer: 2013, 2012, 2011
  • Best Educational Video
    • Taking Center Stage: 2012
    • Anatomy of a Drum Solo: 2006
  • Modern Drummer Hall of Fame: 1983
  • Best Rock Drummer: 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980 (see Honor Roll below)
  • Best Multi-Percussionist: 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983 (see Honor Roll below)
  • Best Percussion Instrumentalist: 1982
  • Most Promising New Drummer: 1980
  • Best All Around: 1986
  • 1986 Honor Roll: Rock Drummer, Multi-Percussion

Starting in 1986, Modern Drummer introduced the Honor Roll category. To make the honor roll, an artist must be selected by the Modern Drummer readership as "winners in any one category of the MD Readers Poll for a total of five years." However, after Peart's hiatus from 1997 until 2002, it appears that he was once again eligible, which is why he shows up for Best Rock Drummer in 2004 again.

DRUM! Magazine's Drummie Awards

Neil Peart Drummer of the Year - Hall of Fame pic

Pear received the following awards from DRUM! magazine for 2016:

  • Drummer of the Year

Peart received the following awards from DRUM! magazine for 2011:

  • Best Live Performer

Peart received the following awards from DRUM! magazine for 2010:

  • Drummer of the Year
  • Best Live Performer (Runner-Up)
  • Best Progressive Rock Drummer (Runner-Up)

Peart received the following awards from DRUM! magazine for 2009:

  • Drummer Of The Year
  • Best Progressive Rock Drummer

Peart received the following awards from DRUM! magazine for 2008:

  • Drummer of the Year
  • Best Progressive Rock Drummer (Runner-Up)
  • Best Mainstream Pop Drummer (Runner-Up)
  • Best Live Drumming Performer

Peart has received the following awards from DRUM! magazine for 2007:

  • Drummer of the Year
  • Best Progressive Rock Drummer
  • Best Live Performer
  • Best DVD (Anatomy Of A Drum Solo)
  • Best Drumming Album (Snakes & Arrows)

Letters from Neil in Modern Drummer

In the October 2006 issue of Modern Drummer, Neil wrote a letter thanking readers for his 2005 awards.

When I first heard that the Modern Drummer Readers Poll had awarded me with triple honors for rock drummer, recorded performance, and educational DVD, I felt a heady mix of emotions. Pleasure, foremost, and certainly surprise, mixed with a little unworthiness. In time, that combination of reactions added up to a pure sense of gratitude at having my work be so appreciated by people, especially other drummers.

"The praise of the praiseworthy," I call it.

If anyone thinks a person ever gets "used to" being honored, or winning awards, and doesn't really care too much, I'm here to tell you that it's not so. There are few feelings in life that equal being appreciated, and you can never get enough of it. Plus, genuine appreciation has the quality to endure, and I still feel a warm glow when I think about those three honors.

To all those who voted for me, thank you most sincerely.

Neil Peart

October 1994


When I finally arrived home at the end of our Counterparts tour—in the usual wrung-out state of exhaustion—and began to sift through the pile of mail on my desk, I was pleasantly surprised to open a package from Modern Drummer and find that I had been awarded the "Best Recorded Performance" in the Readers Poll. A weary smile raised this sagging face, and a spark of gratitude lit up these tired old bones!

If anybody thinks I would ever get jaded about such things, let me assure you: no way! As I have said before (and I hope I will say again), it is the ultimate reward to have your work appreciated by other drummers. As I continue my own musical odyssey, working on technique and structure and applying them to each other, it thrills me no end that I continue to find an audience out there that is discriminating and appreciative—and especially an audience of drummers.

So my sincere gratitude to all of you for this honor. And indeed, rather than making me feel complacent or even satisfied about my past work, it serves to inspire me toward the challenges of the future—like those lines from Robert Frost, which have always moved me: "For I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep." Thank you all very much.

Neil Peart

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Classic Drummer 2011 Hall of Fame

The other drummers inducted for 2011 include: Doug Cosmo Clifford, DJ Fontana, and Hal Blaine.

Here's an excerpt about this award from the Classic Drummer website.

The Classic Drummer Hall of Fame invites our readers to select and pay tribute to those who have meant so much to music and those who appreciate it. Below is a list of 50 of music's most influential classic drummers of the 20th Century. While many continue to be vital musical forces to this day, all are known for their contributions throughout an era that begins with the introduction of the modern drum set and ends as the 1900s began to wind down. We invite you to vote for the 12 players who, in your opinion, should be The Classic Drummer Hall of Fame's first inductees.