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Levon Helm of The Band, dead at 71

Levon Helm In Concert

Rob Loud/Getty Images

Drummer and singer Levon Helm performs during his concert at the Beacon Theatre on March 8, 2008 in New York City. Helm died on April 19, 2012 at age 71.

Former drummer and singer for The Band, Levon Helm, died of cancer on Thursday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, reports the Times Herald-Record. He was 71.

"We lost Levon at 1:30 today surrounded by friends and family and his musicians have visited him," said Larry Campbell, Helm's longtime guitarist and band leader. "As sad as this was, it was very peaceful."

According to Rolling Stone, Helm had been battling throat cancer since the 90s, undergoing 28 radiation treatments and eventually recovering his voice.

Helm cancelled a number of appearances in recent weeks, and a message from his wife and daughter appeared on his website Tuesday asking for prayers and love as he entered the "final stages of his battle with cancer."

Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner