Iconic drummer and singer, Levon Helm, is in the final stages of cancer

'The coolest singing drummer of all time'

Levon Helm, the drummer and sometime vocalist for iconic folk-rock group The Band, is dying. In a statement released on his website, his family says he is in final stages of lung cancer.

Helm sang on some of The Band’s best known songs, including The Weight”:

Helm was born on May 26, 1940 in Arkansas. The 71-year-old lives in upstate New York. For many years he was the sole American member of the mostly Canadian group, which grew out of a Ronnie Hawkins backing band and played with Bob Dylan for many years. In 2007, New York Magazine named him “the coolest singing drummer of all time”, partly for performances, like the one below of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”, from Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz.”