Helm Rolling Stone Greatest Singers, The Band drummer Levon Helm, who was revealed on Tuesday to be in the “final stages of his battle with cancer,” has died at age 71.
“Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon,” his rep said in a statement on Thursday. “He was surrounded by family, friends and band mates and will be remembered by all he touched as a brilliant musician and a beautiful soul.”
One of the few drummers who was also a lead singer, Helm was an original member of The Band, who first toured with Bob Dylan in 1965. The Arkansas-born musician’s distinctive country-style vocals were featured on several of The Band’s biggest hits, including “The Weight”and “Up on Cripple Creek.” (See videos below.) Following the breakup of The Band in 1976, Helm joined Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band and released several solo albums.
After being diagnosed with throat cancer in the late 1990s, Helm made one of music’s most remarkable comebacks, refusing to let his ailing vocal chords stop him from singing. He formed the Levon Helm Band and invited famous musician friends to his Woodstock home to perform at a legendary concert series he called “The Midnight Ramble” (later released on CD). His final two studio albums, Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt, were released in 2007 and 2009; both won Grammys, as did his 2010 live album Ramble at the Ryman. (iVillage)
Mumford And Sons, (AP) – Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy gala was a night that included a bold and touching tribute to Cher, sizzling performances by the likes of Mumford & Sons, Cee-Lo Green and Jennifer Hudson, and the typical set dazzling stars assistance.
But the moments that generate the most buzz came from Whitney Houston and R. Kelly: both gave performances that bordered on the bizarre, with two completely different results.
Kelly owned the evening with an electrifying game that had star Akon with “Glee” star Jane Lynch at his feet, while singing his retro hit “When a woman loves” and also ventured through its rich catalog of hits that includes songs ranging from “Step In The Name of Love” to “your body is calling you.” His began his mini-concert by the strange choice of national anthem, but with the soul rendered, then later disconcerting, joked a bit of “fair price” of the item.
However, Kelly had the crowd riveted a list, as he ran through his own classics, when he finished up his set with “When a woman loves,” he was receiving a standing ovation.
Whitney Houston, the ultimate interpreter of the night, also has a reverential response from the audience when he walked on stage, looking dazzling in a sequined silver dress.
But his voice once majestic, but sometimes shows flashes of his brilliance, he sounded tired and hoarse while crunching through a tribute to his famous cousin singing, Dionne Warwick.
“I had to look for the ‘American Idol’ because she was in my home,” said Houston of the classical performer.
For a couple of times, as his brief performance of “Alfie”, appeared to deviate from the plan tried, and meandered on stage. As a finale, he gave his relative, the legendary stage; both of Warwick sang, “That’s what Friends Are For.”
Afterward, Houston seemed to want to go back to the micro, but Davis, who discovered Houston, grabbed her and joked: “I found when I was 19, I’m still your boss,” then offer the audience a good night, putting an end to that possibility.
Pre-Grammy gala Davis has been a Grammy week more exclusive invitations, and the multitude of superstars this year, once again included and legends from all fields: Warren Beatty, Miley Cyrus, Diddy, Katy Perry, Usher, Neil Young, John Mayer, Serena Williams, Sarah Silverman, were just some of the boldface names in attendance.
They were invited to raise the performances of the Grammy nominees Monae, Janelle and Mumford and sons, and Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson and “Glee” Matthew Morrison. Green made the uncensored version of his Grammy-nominated hit “(expletive) you”, while the crowd sang aloud with the choir.
The Recording Academy’s event also was dedicated to David Geffen, who was president of the Academy Awards of Merit. The co-founder of Dreamworks is also a legendary figure and influential music and played a key role in the careers of acts ranging from Joni Mitchell to Nirvana.
His old friend Cher, wearing a sequined mini-dress, paid tribute to Geffen in a moving speech yet irreverent
“When David asked me to do this I just wanted to kill me, but you can not say no to him,” he joked.
After praising the qualities of what is in your heart warm your business career, said: “I really have no idea what this award (expletive) is, but whatever, I’m sure he deserves it.”
On the Net:
Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.