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Rock legend Levon Helm dies at age 71

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Rock legend Levon Helm has died at the age of 71 following a battle with cancer. According to a message published on Helm’s official website, the Band drummer and Grammy-winning solo artist “passed peacefully this afternoon. He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul.”

The Woodstock, NY-based Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in the late ’90s and for a period was unable to sing. But he eventually recovered his voice and in 2007 released the acclaimed Grammy-winning album Dirt Farmer.

Alas, the disease returned and, on Tuesday, Helm’s wife and daughter posted a message on his website notifying fans that the drummer was in the “final stages” of his cancer battle.