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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!)

Via: Pitchfork
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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.

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Gibbs died today at the age of 62 after a battle with cancer. With the death of Donna Summer just a few days ago, this is officially the worst week for disco ever.

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Australian musician and songwriter Greg Ham passed away in Melbourne on Thursday. He was best known for playing saxophone, flute, organ, piano and the synthesizer with the 1980s band Men at Work. You can hear his flute riff in the band's 1982 single "Down Under."

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