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The Band's Levon Helm Remembered By Bob Dylan And Elton John

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/20/2012 12:50 pm Updated: 04/20/2012 12:50 pm

Levon Helm Death
Levon Helm remembered by Paul McCartney and Bob Dylan

On Thursday, legendary Band singer Levon Helm died at the age of 71 after a long battle with cancer.

Longtime friend Bob Dylan is still coming to terms with Helm's passing. Dylan posted the following message to his late friend on his official website:

He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I'm going to miss him, as I'm sure a whole lot of others will too.

The Band had toured with Dylan in the '60s and '70s. Dylan was also featured in "The Last Waltz," the concert film that documents the Band's farewell concert.

Singer Elton John also took the time to remember his late friend, telling Entertainment Weekly that Helm's music changed his life.

"When I heard the Band's music from Big Pink, their music changed my life," he said. "And Levon was a big part of that band. Nigel Olson, my drummer, will tell you that every drummer that heard him was influenced by him. He was the greatest drummer and a wonderful singer and just a part of my life that was magical ... They were one of the greatest bands of all time. They really changed the face of music when their records came out. I had no idea he was sick so I'm very dismayed and shocked that he died so quickly."

In 1971, John honored Helm with his song "Levon," which he cowrote with Bernie Taupin. Then in 2011, John welcomed a son, who he named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, another tribute to his friend's legacy.

Helm's family also thanked his fans for their dedication on his website:

"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..."

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