A statement from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted Helm in 1994, called him the backbone of The Band.
"As a member of the one of the most influential rock and roll groups, The Band, Levon Helm produced music that was as much timeless as it was timely," it said. "In the late 1960s and early 1970s when the country was divided, The Band still projected a sense of unity and brought generations of fans together from all over the world."
Helm had a voice unlike any other in rock music: definitively Southern, soulful and gritty, an oak-barreled whiskey that sometimes went down with a fiery kick.
Levon Helm... dead at 71.
RIP, Levon... and thank you for all the good times and memories. You are released.