Levon Helm, longtime drummer in The Band, dead at 71

By REUTERS
April 19, 2012 23:51

NEW YORK - Levon Helm, the drummer for The Band whose twangy vocals brought a poignancy and earthiness to songs like "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "Up on Cripple Creek," died on Thursday at the age of 71 from cancer, his manager said.

The three-time Grammy Award winner had been fighting throat cancer since 1998.

"Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon," Helm's manager Barbara O'Brien said in a statement.

"He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul."

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