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The Band’s Robbie Robertson dies at 80

Robbie Robertson, founding guitarist with The Band and the songwriter behind The Weight and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, has died



Robbie Robertson, former guitarist, chief songwriter and occasional lead vocalist with The Band, has died at the age of 80.

The Canadian-born musician died on Wednesday, August 9 following a long illness, according to his manager, Jared Levine.

In a statement, Levine said: “Robbie was surrounded by his family at the time of his death, including his wife, Janet, his ex-wife, Dominique, her partner Nicholas, and his children Alexandra, Sebastian, Delphine, and Delphine’s partner Kenny.”

The guitarist and singer, who was born Jaime Royal Roberston in Toronto on July 5, 1943, co-founded The Band in 1967 with drummer Levon Helm, bassist Rick Danko, pianist Richard Manuel and keyboard player Garth Hudson. All five musicians had previously been members of The Hawks, the backing band of Canadian musician Ronnie Hawkins, before backing Bob Dylan during the 1967/68 sessions in Woodstock, New York that would eventually be released as The Basement Tapes.

The Band released seven studio albums between 1968’s acclaimed debut Music From Big Pink and 1977’s posthumous Islands. Robertson wrote most of their most famous songs, including The Weight, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down and Up On Cripple Creek.

After The Band split following 1976’s celebrated farewell concert The Last Waltz – filmed by Martin Scorsese, who Robertson would go on to collaborate with on 14 movies, including the upcoming Killers Of The Flower Moon – the guitarist launched his solo career with 1987’s Robbie Robertson album. he released five more solo albums, the last of which was 2019’s Sinematic