Robbie Robertson, the iconic guitarist and songwriter of the esteemed Canadian-American ensemble, The Band, has sadly passed away at the age of 80.
His manager confirmed that he peacefully departed on Wednesday, surrounded by his loved ones, after a prolonged illness.
Formed in the late 1960s, The Band held a significant place in the music landscape.
Their story was immortalized in the 1978 Martin Scorsese film, “The Last Waltz,” which documented their final concert.
At the heart of The Band’s success were Robertson’s songwriting talents, giving birth to classics like “The Weight” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.”
Born as Jaime Royal Robertson in Toronto in 1943, he embarked on a musical journey at the young age of 16, leaving his home to pursue his passion. You should also check Tragic Loss, Lil Tay, Adolescent Internet Rapper, Passes Away.
Apart from their own accomplishments, The Band gained recognition as Bob Dylan’s backing band for a period before their debut album “Music From Big Pink” achieved resounding success in 1968.
The 1970s witnessed the release of several critically acclaimed albums.
While their final full-band performance was in 1976, they regrouped multiple times throughout the 1980s and 1990s, albeit without Robertson.
Robertson and keyboardist Garth Hudson were the sole surviving members of The Band’s iconic lineup.
Post-“The Last Waltz,” Robertson continued collaborating with Scorsese on notable film soundtracks, including the 1980 masterpiece “Raging Bull” and 2019’s “The Irishman.”
In the decades that followed, members of The Band reunited on numerous occasions, but Robertson never rejoined.
His musical contributions extended to Scorsese’s movies such as “Raging Bull” and “The Color of Money,” and he released several solo albums. His final solo work, “Sinematic,” debuted in 2019.
Sadly, Robertson is the fourth member of The Band to pass away, joining Richard Manuel in 1986, Rick Danko in 1999, and Levon Helm in 2012.
Garth Hudson, the keyboardist and organist, stands as the sole living member of the original lineup.
Before becoming known as Robbie Robertson, he was Jaime Royal Robertson, born to a Mohawk mother and raised on the Six Nations reserve in Ontario. You may also read Maui Wildfires Devastate Communities, Prompting Urgent Rescue Efforts.
Later in life, he discovered that his biological father, Alexander Klegerman, was a Jewish figure in Toronto’s underworld, renowned for his association with gambling.
As highlighted by his close collaborator, Hawkins, who appeared in the documentary “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band,”
Robertson’s heritage included a fascinating connection to the realm of Hebrew gangsters, adding an intriguing layer to his already captivating narrative.