Singer Sheryl Crow and director Cameron Crowe are leading the tributes to The Band star Levon Helm, who died on Thursday (19Apr12) following a battle with throat cancer.
The rock veteran's health had been deteriorating in recent weeks and he passed away in a New York hospital surrounded by friends and family members.
Crow was one of the first celebrities to react to the news of the 71 year old's death and she took her Twitter.com followers on a trip down memory lane by posting a link to her 2008 performance with Helm in Nashville, Tennessee, where they performed No Depression in Heaven with a host of other stars .
She writes, "I'm truly saddened by the news about my good friend Levon Helm... My heart heavy with sad news of Levon Helm's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with Levon's family."
Director Crowe paid tribute to the late rocker by tweeting partial lyrics to Elton John's song Levon, while country singer Chely Wright posts, "Awww, Levon Helm is gone. Rest in peace, you sweet giant of a man."
Singer/actress Zooey Deschanel hailed Helm as "a true inspiration", while the Kings of Leon star Jared Followill added, "S**t. Rip Levon Helm. One of the great all time drummers. Music will miss you."
Singer Martina MCBride and retired cyclist Lance Armstrong have also paid their respects via posts on Twitter.com.
Actress Jane Fonda and Helm's former The Band bandmate Robbie Robertson released their tributes before the rocker died.
After hearing he was close to death on Tuesday (17Apr12), the actress released a statement on her blog, which read, "I got to know Levon personally because he played my husband in the ABC movie The Dollmaker. He was kind and deep and devoted to music, as a singer and playing not only drums, but harmonica, fiddle, mandolin, you name it.
"All you have to do is rent The Last Waltz, the documentary that Martin Scorsese made of The Band's last performance together to be reminded what an astonishing drummer Levon was."
And Robertson, who visited Helm on his deathbed at the weekend (15Apr12), stated, "Levon is one of the most extraordinary talented people I’ve ever known and very much like an older brother to me. I am so grateful I got to see him one last time and will miss him and love him forever."
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