Levon helm, drummer of the The Band and solo vocalist, is losing his long battle with cancer. On Saturday, his former bandmate Robbie Robertson offered his prayers and love for Helm, hinting that there might be something really bad going on. Yesterday, Helm’s family confirmed that he’s in his final stages of cancer.
Yesterday, Helm’s family posted a very intimate message on the musician’s personal website and explained the Helm, who has been battling cancer for the past decade, is now in the final stages of terminal cancer. The message was brief, but it touched on the things Helm loved and cared for most in his life.
Dear friends, Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey. Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration…he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage…
According to Billboard, Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in the 90s; he underwent intense radiation treatment that damaged his vocal cord immensely. As time went on, he was able to recover some of his voice and began to sing again, but his voice wasn’t as strong anymore. In 2007 he won a Grammy for Dirt Farmer.
In recent weeks, several of his shows have been cancelled and with good reason.
Helm was a member of The Band along with Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel. They started as a backing band for Bob Dylan before making it on their own. Over the decades, The Band delivered songs like “Up on Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, but the band is probably best known for its 1978 concert film and album The Last Waltz.
In 1994, The Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Sadly in 1986, Manuel committed suicide; he was 42. Danko died in 1999 of heart failure; he was 56.
We send out our deepest regards to his wife and daughter.
What’s your favorite The Band song?