Levon Helm "in the final stages of cancer"

Photo from Levon Helm's website.

Grievous news today from local legend Levon Helm's website: The musician, who underwent surgery and radiation for throat cancer in the late 1990s, is now facing a more final struggle with cancer.

A message posted today on Helm's website:

Dear Friends,

Levon is in 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...

We appreciate all the love and support and concern.

From his daughter Amy, and wife Sandy

Helm has canceled several scheduled shows and Rambles recently, but today's announcement was the first news that he was seriously ill.

The news is quickly spreading via social media, and fans and friends are mourning on Twitter: