Reuters reports that The Band’s drummer and founder, Levon Helm passed away on Thursday. The interpreter was 71 years old and was suffering from throat cancer since 1998. His manager, Barbara O’Brien stated that the singer was surrounded by his family during his peaceful death.
The three-time Grammy Award winner had been diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and was forced to give up singing for a while until he found the strength to come back on stage again. In 2004, he resumed his musical activities hosting his famous “Midnight Ramble” concerts during which he used to invite many big-name stars at his home in Woodstock, New York.
Levon Helm was not just a talented singer, but also a role model for people who suffer from cancer. He did a wonderful job hindering the evolution of the disease and prolonging his life with more than a decade. Barbara O’Brien, his manager, told reporters that the drummer was with his family, friends and band mates at the time of his death.
Helm’s wife, Sandy and his daughter, Amy, released a statement on Tuesday announcing The Band’s fans that the performer was in the final stage of cancer. They took to Facebook to thank fans for the support they have shown towards her husband. She added that Levon loved to play his instruments, to fill the rooms with music and to entertain people with his songs.
The Twitterverse was flooded with supportive messages from fans. Singer Loretta Lynn, who was one of Helm’s co-stars in various movies, was very saddened by the news of the drummer’s demise. She wrote on her Facebook page that the actor and singer will always hold a special place in her heart.
Levon Helm was a multitalented artist. Besides singing and playing drums, he could also master the mandolin and other string instruments during The Band’s concerts. He was awarded with three Grammy trophies and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy due to his activity in The Band.