Former President Bill Clinton has released a public statement about Levon Helm. Both Clinton and Helm grew up in Arkansas and came of age in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Along with the ‘90s version of The Band , Helm performed at Clinton’s 1993 inaugural Ball.

In his statement Clinton says:

I was saddened to learn of the death of my fellow Arkansan Levon Helm. Levon was one of America’s great musicians. His music, with the Hawks, the Band, and throughout his career, and his standout performance in Coal Miner’s Daughter, touched a chord with me and with many Americans. He never forgot his roots. I was always grateful that he helped the annual Delta Blues Festival get off the ground. He will be deeply missed.

As previously reported, Helm passed away on April 19 at age 71. A diverse mix of musicians paid tribute to him at shows across the country last night.