- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 17, 2012

WOODSTOCK, N.Y. (AP) - Levon Helm, a former member of The Band, is in the final stages of his long battle with cancer.

A message posted Tuesday on the 71-year-old musician’s website by his family says “Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer.”

Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998 and the illness reduced his voice to a whisper. But he still continued to sing on albums and at rollicking concerts at his Woodstock home.

Helm was a key member of The Band and lent his distinctive Southern voice to classics like “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”

Original members of The Band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

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