Robbie Robertson, the iconic guitarist and principal songwriter of The Band, passed away on Wednesday, August 9th after a long illness. Naturally, tributes poured in from the likes of Joni Mitchell, Stephen Stills, Neil Diamond, Stevie Van Zandt, Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and more.
“A good friend and a genius. The Band’s music shocked the excess out of the Renaissance and were an essential part of the final back-to-the-roots trend of ‘60s,” wrote Van Zandt. “He was an underrated brilliant guitar player adding greatly to Bob Dylan’s best tour & best album.
“The music world lost a great one with the passing of Robbie Robertson,” Diamond said on Twitter, while Stills added, “Always kind and generous. Rest in peace, Robbie Robertson.”
Filmmaker Martin Scorsese described Robertson as a “confidante.” He wrote in a statement, “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. The Band’s music, and Robbie’s own later solo music, seemed to come from the deepest place at the heart of this continent, its traditions and tragedies and joys. It goes without saying that he was a giant, that his effect on the art form was profound and lasting. There’s never enough time with anyone you love. And I loved Robbie.”
In honor of one of the great Icons of Rock, scroll onward to see other tributes to Robertson.
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.
Photo from the Michael Ochs Archives pic.twitter.com/1rdu7tihjS
— Joni Mitchell (@jonimitchell) August 9, 2023
— Stephen Stills (@Stephen__Stills) August 9, 2023
RIP Robbie Robertson. A good friend and a genius. The Band’s music shocked the excess out of the Renaissance and were an essential part of the final back-to-the-roots trend of ‘60s. He was an underrated brilliant guitar player adding greatly to Bob Dylan’s best tour & best album.
— 🕉🇺🇦🟦Stevie Van Zandt☮️💙 (@StevieVanZandt) August 9, 2023
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.
— Neil Diamond (@NeilDiamond) August 9, 2023
My heart breaks for the family of @r0bbier0berts0n, and I think it’s safe to say that without his influence the music we love and the music we make would be very different from what it is.
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) August 9, 2023
The Band FOREVER 💔 so saddened to hear about Robbie Robertson’s passing. The records he made and played influenced me profoundly.
My deepest condolences to his family, friends and those who knew him well. pic.twitter.com/znGGL5mg13
— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) August 9, 2023
Such sad news about Robbie Robertson – he was a lovely man, a great friend and will be dearly missed xx R
Photographs from The Last Waltz pic.twitter.com/I7IHXGJyYj
— Ronnie Wood (@ronniewood) August 9, 2023
God bless Robbie Robertson, peace and love to all his family peace and love. Ringo 😎✌️🌟❤️🌻🌈🎶☮️
— #RingoStarr (@ringostarrmusic) August 10, 2023
RIP Robbie Robertson. Thanks for the amazing music and the great hangs, especially photographing you in LA not so long ago. We’ll keep Anna Lee company for you… pic.twitter.com/0IqVibzVZm
— Bryan Adams (@bryanadams) August 9, 2023
Totally devastated and shocked at his passing. He was a great musician who inspired many of our generation. #robbierobertsonrip https://t.co/67tRu4GRxP
— Dave Davies (@davedavieskinks) August 9, 2023
Heartbroken to hear that Robbie Robertson has died. One of the all time greats, a musician’s musician, who shaped my thinking about songs and arrangement more than any other. Rest in well deserved peace.
— Frank Turner (@frankturner) August 10, 2023
RIP Robbie Robertson. The Band will forever be one of my biggest influences. 😥
— nathan followill (@doctorfollowill) August 9, 2023
Guitarist. Songwriter. Storyteller. Robbie Robertson was a big part of Canada’s outsized contributions to the arts. I’m thinking of his family, friends, and fans who are mourning his loss. Thank you for the music and the memories, Robbie. pic.twitter.com/36UuOq8vhJ
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 10, 2023
Robbie Robertson was a brilliant songwriter, guitarist, and composer whose gifts changed music forever. I’m grateful for all the good memories he gave me—going back to his time in the Hawks when I was a teenager—and for his kindness through the years. I’ll miss him.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) August 9, 2023
Robbie never played the guitar hero role & in the days of his greatest success moved on to become songwriter, producer, instrumentalist within a well-balanced group. But he played better than almost any guitar hero you can name, including ripping Eric a new one at The Last Waltz. https://t.co/a7etsydsx5
— Mike Scott (@MickPuck) August 9, 2023
The loss of Robbie Robertson is heartbreaking. Canada has lost an icon, and music has lost a poet and a scholar.
— Kiefer Sutherland (@RealKiefer) August 9, 2023