Levon Helm in ‘Final Stages’ of Cancer
Levon Helm, a treasured voice in Americana music whose Southern drawl and busy-but-tight drumming brought an authenticity to The Band, is losing his decade-long battle with cancer, his family announced on Tuesday.
“Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer,” a message reads on Helm’s website. “Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey.”
It is signed by his daughter Amy, an artist who often performs with her father, and wife Sandy.
Helm, 71, was diagnosed with throat cancer in the late 1990s and underwent intensive radiation treatment which greatly damaged his voice. Over time he was able to sing again, but his once-strong tenor had become the weathered rasp that can be heard on his Grammy winning 2007 album, “Dirt Farmer.” He has carried on a busy touring schedule and hosts “Midnight Ramble” events at his barn in Woodstock, New York.