Levon Helm, legendary singer/drummer for The Band, has died

Levon Helm, the voice and the beat of The Band, one of the most popular rock groups of the 60s and 70s, died this afternoon after a long battle with throat cancer.

Just two days ago, his family posted this message on his website -- ""[Levon has entered the] final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey. 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."

As soon as this went up, tributes started pouring in for Helm from all over the world. None was more poignant than blogger, Charles Pierce's piece for Esquire.

One of Helm's last public appearances was in Ann Arbor at the Michigan Theater on March 19th where he rocked the venue and brought the crowd roaring to its feet.

Helm, who was 71, died in New York.