Levon Helm, the singer and drummer who anchored the legendary rock group The Band in the 1960s and '70s and enjoyed a remarkable comeback nearly four decades later after throat cancer had reduced his voice to a whisper, has died. He was 71.
Helm appeared frail in recent years, but there was no inkling his health had taken a grave turn until Tuesday, when his wife and daughter posted a statement on his Website announcing, "Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer."
"Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way on this stage of his journey," they wrote.
Helm was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 with the other members of The Band. And in 2003, Rolling Stone magazine named him as one of the "100 greatest singers of all time."
His voice reflected an Arkansas drawl and lifetime of musical influences, from country to blues and soul. He could be haunting or howling, melodic or mournful.
That voice soared to prominence with The Band, providing the lead on such lasting classics as "The Weight," "The Night They Drove Ol' Dixie Down" and "Up on Cripple Creek."
Helm also appeared in movies as an actor, making his screen debut in "The Coal Miner's Daughter," playing Loretta Lynn's father, Ted Webb.
Much more HERE
Just this morning on the way in to work I was listening to The Band.
It's a sad day.