Levon Helm

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Some sad news for fans of The Band.

Levon Helm, the singer and drummer for the legendary group, "is in the final stages of his battle with cancer," according to a note posted on his website by his wife and daughter.

"Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey," the note reads. "Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration... he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage."

Helm, 71, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998. While he suffered some slight vocal cord damage due to radiation treatment, he continued to make music and earned a Grammy in 2007 for his album, Dirt Farmer.

The Band, which released its first album in 1968, became one of the most influential groups of the era thanks to such hit songs as "The Weight," "Up on Cripple Creek" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," and was featured in the classic Martin Scorsese-directed concert flick The Last Waltz.

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