updated 04/17/2012 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/19/2012 AT 3:20 PM ET
Levon Helm, the legendary drummer for The Band whose country-flavored vocals are heard on the hit “The Weight,” died Thursday at 71.
“Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon,” his rep says. “He was surrounded by family, friends and bandmates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul.”
Earlier this week, his wife Sandy and daughter announced on his website that he was “in the final stages of his battle with cancer.”