Martin Scorsese has hailed Robbie Robertson as a music “giant”.

The ‘Goodfellas’ filmmaker, 80, spoke out about his devastation at the loss of ‘The Band’ guitarist after his death aged 80 was announced on Wednesday by Robbie’s long-term manager.

Scorsese – who documented the final concert of ‘The Band’ in his iconic ‘The Last Waltz’ rockumentary, which is widely hailed as the best music documentary ever made, before going on to work with him on the soundtracks for his biggest movies – said in a statement: “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.

“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.”

Scorsese produced another documentary on ‘The Band’ called ‘Once Were Brothers’ in 2019.

Among the director’s films scored by Robbie were ‘Raging Bull’, ‘Casino’, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, ‘The Irishman’ and ‘The Color of Money’.

He was working on music when he died for the filmmaker’s upcoming film ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ starring Robert De Niro and Leonardo Dicaprio, scheduled for release later this year.

Robbie’s manager of 34 years Jared Levine announced his death by saying in a statement: “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.

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

Instead of flowers, the guitarist’s family asked fans to make any donations they wished to the Six Nations of the Grand River to “support a new Woodland Cultural Center”.