Mark Lavon “Levon” Helm (May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012), was an American rock multi-instrumentalist and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and frequent lead and backing vocalist for The Band.
Helm was known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice, and creative drumming style highlighted on many of The Band’s recordings, such as “The Weight”, “Up on Cripple Creek”, “Ophelia” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”. His 2007 comeback album Dirt Farmer earned the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in February 2008, and in November of that year, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #91 in the list of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2010, Electric Dirt, his 2009 follow-up to Dirt Farmer, won the first ever Grammy Award for Best Americana Album, an inaugural category in 2010. In 2011, his live album Ramble at the Ryman was nominated for the Grammy in the same category and won.
On April 17, 2012, his wife and daughter announced on Helm’s website that he was “in the final stages of his battle with cancer” and thanked fans while requesting prayers.
Levon Helm cause of death
Levon Helm died on April 19, 2012, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
Levon Helm was 71 years old at the time of his death
Levon Helm (on Drums & vocal) & John Hiatt – The Weight