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Rush Photographer and Juno-Winner Andrew MacNaughtan Dead at 47

Acclaimed rock photographer Andrew MacNaughtan — who worked with several groups including Rush and Barenaked Ladies — died earlier this week. He was 47. According to the Toronto Star, the photographer suffered a heart attack in California where he was on assignment photographing Rush.

“We’re deeply shocked and heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of our close friend and long-time photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan,” the band said on their official site. “He was a very sweet person and a very talented artist. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed. – Geddy, Alex & Neil”

MacNaughtan’s own site shows a photo with “Feb. 25 1964 – Jan. 24 2012″ below it although some reports indicate he died Wednesday, Jan. 25. Meanwhile, tributes appeared on his Facebook page, including photos of MacNaughtan on location for a photo shoot with Celine Dion.

“So sad to hear about Andrew MacNaughtan,” Barenaked Ladies drummer Tyler Stewart tweeted Friday. “He shot BNL many times and I bought his house when he moved to LA back in ’98. He was a great man.”

“Still stunned…RIP Andrew MacNaughtan, our passionate, talented friend,” singer Sarah Slean tweeted (!/sarahslean/status/162877000682438657) Friday morning. “Thank you for your amazing spirit.”

Jann Arden, former Barenaked Ladies singer Steven Page and organizers behind the Polaris Music Prize echoed similar sentiments and condolences on Twitter.

MacNaughtan worked with a myriad of groups, including 3 Michael Buble, Blue Rodeo, Bryan Adams, Sum 41, Nickelback, Tom Cochrane and Burton Cummings. According to Billboard, he directed some 70 music videos and also earned four Juno Awards over his 25-year career. His longtime association with Rush was well known, as he shot photos for their 1990 ‘Chronicles’ release and maintained a relationship with the group until his passing.

MacNaughtan also published a coffee table book of photographs called ‘Grace: Africa In Photographs’ last year, a collection culled from a November 2010 trip to Kenya and Tanzania with proceeds going to ArtGivesHope, a charity he established in 2006 to support World Vision’s Hope Program. “The trip, these photographs, this book is a symbol of all that is possible in a short time if you are willing to reach out,” he said in the book’s foreword. “You never know what even a small gesture can do, as I happily found out.”

Watch ‘Boys in Brazil (Part 1),’ a Rush Doc by Andrew MacNaughtan

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