Levon Helm Dead After Cancer Battle

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April 19 2012 4:30 PM

Levon Helm Dead After Cancer Battle

UPDATE: Levon Helm is reportedly dead, after a battle with throat cancer. He was 71. Helm had been hospitalized at Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The musician was reportedly surrounded by friends and family as he passed away around 1:30 p.m..

Original post April 18, 608 p.m.: Fans and musicians around the globe are sending positive vibes toward The Band’s Levon Helm, after his family announced via the legendary drummer’s website that he was losing a battle to cancer.

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Helm—whose no-trappings tenor can be heard on some of The Band’s biggest hits, like “The Weight” and “Up On Cripple Creek”—was first diagnosed with throat cancer a decade ago, for which he went under intensive radiation treatments. But the musician continued to perform, host events and record bands at his studio in Woodstock, N.Y..

He also appeared in films over the years, including The Right Stuff and Coal Miner’s Daughter, playing the father of country music star Loretta Lynn.

A message from Helm’s family said “Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.” Many fans are doing just that on Twitter today, by sharing links to clips of his music.