Clarence Clemons, 'Big Man' of Bruce Springsteen's
E Street Band, Dead at 69
Bono also added several words from the E Street song "Jungleland" into the end of the song.
Clemons died at 69 one week after suffering a stroke at his Florida home. According to reports, he had undergone two brain surgeries while hospitalized but had taken a turn for the worse in recent days.
Known as the "Big Man," Clemons had been with the E Street Band for nearly four decades and helped define the band's sound on such classics as "Born to Run" and "Thunder Road." The 69-year-old underwent two knee replacements and back surgery in the last year; in an interview with Rolling Stone in February, he described his last tour with the band as "pure hell" due to pain.
Most recently, Clemons collaborated with Lady Gaga on her "Born This Way" album, playing sax on the singles "The Edge of Glory" and "Hair" and performing with the pop star on the May 25 "American Idol" season finale. He also appeared in the "Edge of Glory" video, which premiered last Thursday (June 16).
Clarence Clemons' Greatest Chart Hits
"Clarence lived a wonderful life," said Springsteen in a statement. "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.
(Additional reporting by Billboard staff)