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Musician Levon Helm has died at a New York hospital at age 71 after battling cancer.
He rose to fame as a drummer and singer of The Band, known for hits like 'The Weight' and 'The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.'
'Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon,' said a message posted on his website on Thursday, April 19. '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.'
He is survived by his wife, Sandy, and daughter, daughter Amy.
Levon was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998. He continued singing on albums and at concerts. It was reported earlier this week that he was in the final stage of cancer.
'We lost Levon at 1:30 today surrounded by friends and family and his musicians have visited him,' Larry Campbell, Helm's longtime guitarist and band leader, told the Times Herald-Record. 'As sad as this was, it was very peaceful.'
(Pictured: Levon Helm performs at the 2008 Newport Folk Festival in August 2008.)