Levon Helm, drummer and backing singer for '70s rock band The Band, passed away earlier today. Originally the backing group for Bob Dylan and other musicians, The Band (as they started calling themselves) began releasing their own material and produced such classics as "The Weight" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." Their 1976 farewell concert served as the basis for Martin Scorsese's concert documentary The Last Waltz, and it (as well as the live album of the same name) is a goddamn classic. Look it up now if you haven't already.
(And on the same day Greg Ham of Men at Work died, too. Sad day!)
Eduard Khil, or "Mr. Trololo" as he was known to millions on the internet, died today of complications following a stroke. He was 77.
Khil enjoyed popularity as a singer in Soviet Russia during the '60s and '70s before stepping down from the public stage in the early '90s. Then, in 2010, Khil achieved the dubious honor of Internet fame after a video of a 1976 televised performance went viral.
Khin replaced the lyrics of the song, titled "I Am Glad, 'Cause I'm Finally Returning Back Home," with alternating "lololols" and "lalalalas" because he was afraid the Soviet government would censor the original lyrics. Which proves that in Soviet Russia, memes make you.
Beastie Boys MC Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA, has died. He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009 and had been undergoing treatment.
In addition to his work in the seminal, influential, absurdly successful, and undeniably excellent hip-hop group, he also ran his own film production company and co-founded a fund to support Tibetan independence. The Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month.
Beloved science fiction writer Ray Bradbury passed away today. Here's a song by someone who beloved Ray Bradbury a little too much. It's also extremely creepy if you don't know that this was made before he died (necrophilia: we don't endorse it here!).
Video also contains extremely strong language. If you're reading this, Grandma, please don't click the sideways triangle at the bottom left corner of the picture. It turns the picture into a movie about naughty things and you'll be so upset you might miss evening mass again.