The Band’s Canadian-American composer Robbie Robertson passed away at the age of 80.
He passed away on Wednesday, surrounded by family, according to a statement from his manager, following a protracted illness.
The Last Waltz, a 1978 Martin Scorsese film about The Band’s farewell concert, was about this influential band from the late 1960s.
Some of their most well-known songs, such as The Weight and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, were written by Robertson.
Jaime Royal Robertson was born in Toronto in 1943, and at the age of 16, he left home to pursue a career in music.
Prior to the success of their 1968 first album, Music From Big Pink, The Band gained recognition for their own music as well as a brief period of time touring as Bob Dylan’s supporting band.
After performing their final concert as a whole band in 1976, they reformed without Robertson for a series of tours and studio recordings during the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1970s, they produced a number of well-received records.
Robertson was one of just two remaining members of The Band’s original lineup, the other being keyboardist Garth Hudson.
He worked with Scorsese on the soundtracks to some of the director’s most well-known movies after The Last Waltz, including the 1980 classic Raging Bull and 2019’s The Irishman.
Scorsese praised Robertson, calling him a “giant” and “a constant in my life and work.”
“Long before we ever met, his music played a central role in my life – me and millions and millions of other people all over this world,” he said. “His effect on the art form was profound and lasting.”
The Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood sent the following message on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Such sad news about Robbie Robertson – he was a lovely man, a great friend, and will be dearly missed.”
Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band member Stevie van Zandt described Robertson as a “good friend” and “underrated brilliant guitarist.”
Bryan Adams, a Canadian artist, commented on Instagram under a photo of Robertson, “Thanks for the amazing music and the great hangs.”