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Saxophone sideman Clarence Clemons dies at 69

6/23/2011, 1:03 p.m.
Saxophone sideman Clarence Clemons dies at 69

Famed saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, Clarence Clemons, has died. Known as "The Big Man" Clemons passed away on Sunday in Florida from complications from a stroke he had last week. He was 69.

While he was known for his work with the E Street Band, Clemons also had a successful solo career. His 1985 single "You're a Friend of Mine," a duet with Jackson Browne, was a Billboard hit. Clemons also worked with Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, Luther Vandross and, recently, Lady Gaga.

Springsteen and Clemons supposedly met in 1972. Over the years Clemons was featured playing saxophone solos on hits including "Born in the U.S.A.," "Born to Run," and "Spirit in the Night." He can be heard on over 20 albums that the E Street Band released.

In a statement Springsteen said, "Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years."

Born in Norfolk, Va., Clemons is survived by four sons, Clarence III, Charles, Christopher and Jarod.