Bob Dylan pays tribute to “lifelong friend” Robbie Robertson

Robertson died earlier this week at the age of 80

Bob Dylan has issued a statement paying tribute to late musician Robbie Robertson.

Dylan said in a statement posted onto social media yesterday (August 12): “This is shocking news. Robbie was a lifelong friend. His passing leaves a vacancy in the world.

Robertson, who besides performing as part of Dylan’s backing band in the latter half of the 1960s, was a guitarist and singer-songwriter for The Band, died earlier this week at the age of 80.


Robertson met Ronnie Hawkins, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson as a teenager, and they went on to form The Hawks. Following the band’s split from Hawkins in 1965, they were recruited to be Bob Dylan’s backing band during his pivot to non-acoustic music.

Dylan is the latest prolific artist to pay homage to the late Robertson, following tributes from Bruce Springsteen, Neil DiamondRingo Starr, Joni MitchellMartin Scorsese and more.

For his tribute, Springsteen dedicated the closing song (‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’) of his recent three-hour performance to Robertson. Meanwhile, Neil Diamond wrote on Twitter: “The music world lost a great one with the passing of Robbie Robertson. Keep making that Beautiful Noise in the sky, Robbie. I’ll miss you.”

Joni Mitchell’s team wrote: “Rest in peace Robbie Robertson, legendary lead guitarist of The Band, fellow Canadian, and cherished collaborator of Joni’s. May his legacy and musical harmony resonate for generations to come.”


Robertson – following his solo career and split from The Band – had scored several of Martin Scorsese’s films, including Raging BullCasinoThe Wolf Of Wall Street and The Irishman. His last collaboration with Scorsese will come in the form of the Killers Of The Flower Moon score, which is set for release later this year.

Since releasing his self-titled debut in 1986, and his subsequent sophomore record ‘Storyville’ in 1991, Robertson also contributed to records by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Ringo Starr, Neil Diamond and many more. Robertson released his final solo album, ‘Sinematic’, in 2019.

He is survived by his grandchildren Angelica, Donovan, Dominic, Gabriel, and Seraphina.

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