R.I.P. Rolling Stones Sax Player Bobby Keys

R.I.P. Rolling Stones Sax Player Bobby Keys
Bobby Keys, the classic rock sax player best known for his association with the Rolling Stones, has died. He was 70.

He passed away in the early hours of this morning (December 2) at his home in Franklin, TN. According to Nashville Scene, he had been suffering from cirrhosis (a condition caused by liver disease).

A statement from his Facebook page is as follows:

Early this morning our beloved husband, father, family member, and friend passed away peacefully at home in Franklin,TN. Bobby was surrounded by his family and loved ones. He will be greatly missed as he touched so many lives and made a lasting contribution to the American music scene. Bobby's horn may be silenced here on Earth, but the music he graciously shared will eternally live on. In lieu or flowers and gifts, the family asks that contributions be made to St Jude's Children Research Hospital and The Humane Society in his honor.

Keys had continued touring with the Stones until recently, but an update from the band back in October explained, "Due to being a bit under the weather, Bobby Keys will not be joining the Stones for the Australian and New Zealand tour dates. Bobby is under doctor's orders to take it a bit easy for the next month and hopes to see everyone soon."

The Texas-born Keys played on many of the Stones best-loved albums, including Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971) and Exile on Main St. (1972). That's him behind the sax solo from "Brown Sugar" (watch a live video below). Keys was apparently close friends with Keith Richards and has been a part of many Stones tours.

Keys released a self-titled solo album in 1972, with contributors including George Harrison, Jack Bruce, Ringo Starr and more. (Eric Clapton is also sometimes credited with appearing on the album.)

Keys' credits also included recordings with John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, B.B. King, Carly Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many more.