Bobby Keys, the longtime saxophonist for the Rolling Stones, has died at the age of 70. His death was greeted Tuesday with sadness by his former Stones bandmates, who said that they were “devastated by the loss of their very dear friend,” in a statement to Rolling Stone magazine.

The news of Keys passing was confirmed by Michael Webb, a keyboard player with the musician’s band the Suffering Bastards, according to the Nashville Scene. Keys had been suffering from cirrhosis and passed away at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, early Tuesday morning, Webb said.

During the course of his 55-year career in music, Keys played with music legends John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Buddy Holly, but was most famous for his work with the Rolling Stones, including for his saxophone performance on the classic track "Brown Sugar," according to The Guardian


A Texas native, the musician began playing with bands as a teenager. Keys first encountered the Rolling Stones in the early '60s and went on to back them on some of their most iconic albums, including "Exile on Main St." and "Let It Bleed," according to Rolling Stone magazine. "If you believe in the magic of rock & roll, which I devoutly do, it isn't in the individual," Keys said in 2012. "I’ve played in bands with A-team players around, but unless they can play together, it doesn’t do any good."

Many took to Twitter on Tuesday to voice their sadness over Keys' passing and to salute his musical legacy: