Robbie Robertson, songwriter and lead guitarist for legendary rock group The Band, is dead ... TMZ has confirmed.
Sources close to Robbie tell us he died Wednesday in Los Angeles after battling prostate cancer for about a year. We're told he'd been doing ok, recently, but on Tuesday he told his wife he wasn't feeling well, and she took him to a hospital.
We're told his wife got a call from the hospital in the early hours of Wednesday informing her Robbie had passed.
Robbie's group first formed in Canada in the late '50s as The Hawks -- including the late Levon Helm and Rick Danko -- but they gained wide notoriety when they backed Bob Dylan on his 1966 tour ... and after that launched their own career as The Band.
Robbie wrote some of The Band's most iconic hits like "The Weight," and "Up On Cripple Creek."