Clarence Clemons Dies At 69; Hollywood Honors Saxophonist

Written by Michael Lambarde on Jun. 20, 2011

Clarence Clemons, best known for being a saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band passed away on Saturday at age 69 after he suffered complications from a stroke he suffered just one week prior. Members of the band were called to his bedside at the time. Clemons has suffered from nagging back and knee pain in the past. Months ago, he told Rolling Stone that a recent tour he did with The Band was “hell” because of health issues.

Since then, he underwent a spinal fusion and two knee replacement surgeries and took physical therapy to regain his strength and stamina. “As long as my mouth, hands and brain still work I’ll be out there doing it,” he told Rolling Stone as he recovered. “I’m going to keep going ’til I’m not there anymore. That is what’s keeping me alive and feeling young and inspired.”

Shortly after Clemons suffered the stoke last week, Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411, said that his health situation was so dire that “members of the E Street Band were advised to get down to Florida as soon as possible”. Not only did Clemons play with the E Street Band, but he recently worked with pop sensation Lady Gaga on her hit album Born this Way, and even performed with her during the season finale of FOX’s American Idol in May.

Shortly after Clemons’ death, Springsteen released a statement looking back at Clemons’ life and contributions to the band: “His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly 40 years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band.” Clemons last performed with the E Street Band in December of last year.

Since the death of Clemons has come to life, many stars such as Janet Jackson, Michael Moore, Seth Meyers, and others have tweeted their condolences. “Clarence Clemons was a wonderful talent. He will be on my mind tonight,” Janet Jackson said. Actor Rob Lowe tweeted, ““Clarence Clemons was an electric, generous, sweet spirit. Taught me how to look cool with a sax. Goodbye Big Man #Legendary.” Tom Morello, the former Rage Agains the Machine guitarist wrote, “Thank you so much Big Man for sweetening the sound of our planet with your sax and your soul.”

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