Martin Scorsese has paid tribute to his long-time collaborator Robbie Robertson following the musician’s death at age 80 on Wednesday.
The Toronto-born musician worked as composer, music producer and music supervisor on many of the director’s movies including Raging Bull, The Departed, The Irishman, Shutter Island, The Wolf of Wall Street, Gangs of New York, and most recently Killers of the Flower Moon.
The 80-year-old filmmaker sent a statement to Billboard on Wednesday, remembering The Band lead guitarist as one of his “closest friends”.
“Robbie Robertson was one of my closest friends, a constant in my life and my work. I could always go to him as a confidante. A collaborator. An advisor. I tried to be the same for him,” the director wrote.
Martin continued, “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.”
The filmmaker then concluded by stating he “loved Robbie”.
Other celebrities have also paid tribute to Robbie since his passing, including Canadian musician Bryan Adams.
“RIP Robbie Robertson,” the Heaven singer posted on Twitter, now also called X. “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…”