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The Band's Levon Helm In 'Final Stages' Of Cancer

Greg Asciutto |
April 17, 2012 | 4:35 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Levon Helm onstage in 2009 (Creative Commons)
Levon Helm onstage in 2009 (Creative Commons)
Levon Helm, former drummer and vocalist for The Band, is nearing the end of a decade-long fight against cancer, according to his family. 

"Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer," read a message on his official website Tuesday. 

"Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey."

According to the Associated Press, Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 but has continued performing and singing on albums. 

Helm, 71, was an original member of The Band, notable for his vocals on "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "The Weight." 

"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!," said his daughter Amy and wife Sandy. 

Rolling Stone recently listed Helm as one of the top 100 singers of all time.

His last three albums, "Dirt Farmer," "Electric Dirt" and "Ramble at the Ryman," each received Grammy Awards. 

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