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Levon Helm

American musician and actor

Died when: 71 years 329 days (862 months)
Star Sign: Gemini


Levon Helm

Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm (May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012) was an American musician who achieved fame as the drummer and one of the three lead vocalists for The Band, for which he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

Helm was known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice, multi-instrumental ability, and creative drumming style, highlighted on many of the Band's recordings, such as "The Weight", "Up on Cripple Creek", and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down".

Helm also had a successful career as a film actor, appearing as Loretta Lynn's father in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), as Chuck Yeager's friend and colleague Captain Jack Ridley in The Right Stuff (1983), as a Tennessee firearms expert in Shooter (2007), and as General John Bell Hood in In the Electric Mist (2009).

In 1998, Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer which caused him to lose his singing voice.After treatment, his cancer eventually went into remission, and he gradually regained the use of his voice.

His 2007 comeback album Dirt Farmer earned the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in February 2008, and in November of that year, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him No. 91 in its list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time,.

In 2010, Electric Dirt, his 2009 follow-up to Dirt Farmer, won the first Grammy Award for Best Americana Album, a category inaugurated in 2010.

In 2011, his live album Ramble at the Ryman won the Grammy in the same category.In 2016, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him No. 22 in its list of 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time.

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