Mark Lavon "Levon" Helm was an American rock and Americana musician and actor who achieved fame as the drummer and regular lead vocalist for The Band. 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 the Coal Miner's Daughter, as Chuck Yeager's friend and colleague Captain Jack Ridley in The Right Stuff, and as an iconic, Tennessee firearms expert in Shooter.
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 the list of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.