Levon Helm, the drummer and one of the lead voices behind The Band, died Thursday morning at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. The announcement comes just a few days after his family released a statement saying that the 71 year-old Helm was "in the final stages of his battle with cancer."
Probably best still known for his role as a founding member of The Band and lead vocalist on classics like "The Weight," "Up on Cripple Creek," and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," it's Helm's late career renaissance that's perhaps most striking. Beginning with 2007's Dirt Farmer, he released a trio of Grammy-winning recordings that came a decade on from a cancer diagnosis that initially left him without a voice and under a mountain of medical debt. His recovery and creative rebirth are a testament to the joy and vivaciousness that he, by all accounts, brought to his life.
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