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Levon Helm

Dead at 71

4/19/2012 12:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

Levon Helm has died after a long battle with throat cancer.
The Band
singer/drummer Levon Helm -- famous for hits like "The Weight" ("Take a load off Annie" ...) -- has died after a long battle with throat cancer.

Helm -- diagnosed with throat cancer in the late 90s -- passed away this afternoon in NYC, surrounded by his friends and bandmates.



Helm formed what would eventually become The Band with Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson in 1964.

The group went by various names -- but didn't become the "The Band" until after they toured with Bob Dylan in 1965 and 1966 ... a reference to their back-up band history with various frontmen.

Helm has won 3 Grammys for his solo work in the last 4 years. In 2008, The Band received the Grammys' Lifetime Achievement Award.

Helm is survived by his wife and daughter. He was 71.

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77 COMMENTS

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16.

patty    

to - @patthecat

865 days ago
17.

KnuckleDragger    

Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda were fans of The Band, also, putting the song "Weight" in their 1969 movie Easy Rider. That movie had a great soundtrack...albeit us listening to it through a 3-inch speaker at the Drive-In theater.

865 days ago
18.

Ed    

He died yesterday, not this afternoon. Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus) tweeted it 18 hours ago.

865 days ago
19.

smokemaster    

It's Fannie. If you can't get the lyrics correct how can you comment on the death? Look up the official lyrics.

865 days ago
20.

miller    

Even though 4/5 of the band was Canadaian, Levon was cooler than the other 4 put together! RIP

865 days ago
21.

Lisa    

@ Ed: He died Thursday afternoon - look at his website - I live in Kingston, about 20 mins. from his place - he was HUGE here and did so much for the community. he will be really missed

865 days ago
22.

Meggie24    

Take a load off Levon. RIP.

865 days ago
23.

Clytemnestra    

If you smoke cigarettes, stop. It is the number one cause for throat cancer...which is one of the most horrendous of the lot.

865 days ago
24.

John    

He looked 91. Hard living.

865 days ago
25.

moxie    

My sincerest condolences to Levon's family and friends. Levon was a National Treasure, and if you are not familiar with his music and history, highly suggest you check it out!

865 days ago
26.

Bet&Lost    

Fanny.

865 days ago
27.

arkie    

Rest easy, my fellow Arkansawyer. You will be missed.

865 days ago
28.

bart    

Robbie Robertson wrote the song The Weight but many of The Band members help write it too but Robertson got the credit. The Band was the best. They sure had some great songs and who could not love The Last Waltz. Levon Helm will be missed. He was a great drummer and I loved his singing. Very real and from the heart.

865 days ago
29.

jpurdie    

One of my favorite musicians ever. God I am sad to see him go! Rambling Up on Cripple Creek brother. RIP

865 days ago
30.

jlg    

Thank you for your songs. Godspeed old man. May peace with you. For those of you who dont know of him no need for you to speak

865 days ago
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