Drum pioneer Everett “Vic” Firth has passed away at the age of 85. Firth’s name is one which was synonymous with the world of drumming, and news of his death has been met with shock and surprise the world over.

Firth, who established his drumstick company in 1963, has been a famous face in the drumming world quite some time now, with his name having endorsed the likes of Queen’s Roger Taylor, Social Distortion’s Eddie Livingston and Muse’s Dominic Howard. The following statement was made on the Vic Firth Facebook page in regards to Firth’s passing:

To our dear friends around the world:

We are heartbroken to share the news with you that Vic has passed away.

Vic was an inspiration to all of us. He was a visionary, a mentor, a leader and a friend. He always said he surrounded himself with the best people, but the truth is he brought out the best in all of us. His boundless passion for music and musicians drove every decision he made.

Vic’s spirit and legacy will continue to live at the core of the Vic Firth Company. He will be missed beyond words.

Vic will be sorely missed by the drumming community.