Musicians Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen appear on the "Today" show in New York
Musician Clarence Clemons (L) grabs Bruce Springsteen during an appearance with the E-Street band at the "Today" show in New York, September 28, 2007. The band's U.S. tour begins October 2, 2007 in Hartford, Connecticut. REUTERS

Famous saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who has devoted his life to E Street band for 4 decades died on Saturday, leaving Bruce Springsteen heartbroken.

Clemons, 69, was hospitalized following a stroke at his home in Singer Island, Fla. one week ago. Spokeswoman Marilyn Laverty said he died of complications of the stroke.

Clemons began playing the saxophone when he was 9. He once told public that nobody played instruments in his family so his father wanted him to play the saxophone. When he received a saxophone as present from his father on Christmas, Clemons went crazy as he wanted to be a football player.

However, a serious car accident made Clemons drop his dream of becoming a football player and made him focus on music.

Clemons met rising singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen in 1973 and soon became his intimate friend. That very year he officially joined the E Street Band.

Clemons was known as the Big Man for his imposing 6-foot-5-inch, 270-plus pound frame in the band, as well as bright smile and endearing personality, which charms a lot of loyal fans.

Actually during the last few years, Clemons suffered a lot of ailments. Once he had to perform while on a wheelchair due to double knee surgery. But his health was showing signs of improvement: just last month he performed with Lady Gaga on the season finale of American Idol.

According to one spokesperson, Victoria, Clemons was surrounded by members of his family, including his wife when he passed away.

Springsteen assessed his long-term band mate in a statement: 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 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, the Born to Run singer said.