Rolling Stones' sax player Bobby Keys dead

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Rolling Stones' sax player Bobby Keys dead
PT CHESTER, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Saxophonist Bobby Keys of The Rolling Stones performs at The Capitol Theatre on September 7, 2012 in Pt Chester, New York. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
American saxophonist Bobby Keys performing with Ron Wood's band The New Barbarians, 1979. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
HAMBURG, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 14: Bobby Keys of The Rolling Stones performs on stage at the Ernst-Merck-Halle on September 14th 1970 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns)
The Rolling Stones performing at one of their two Apollo Theatre shows in Glasgow, 16th-17th September 1973. Clockwise, from left: saxophonist Bobby Keys, keyboard player Billy Preston (1946 - 2006), guitarist Mick Taylor, guitarist Keith Richards and singer Mick Jagger. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor (left) backstage with saxophonists Bobby Keys (centre) and Trevor Lawrence at the Olympiahalle, Munich, Germany, 28th September 1973. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
English rock group The Rolling Stones performing at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool, 12th March 1971. Left to right: Jim Price, Bobby Keys, Mick Taylor, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
The Rolling stones in concert (STP Tour), New York, New York, July 26, 1972. Pictured, from left, are Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, and Mick Jagger, along with saxophonist Bobby Keys. (Photo by Robert R. McElroy/Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 13: NEWCASTLE CITY HALL Photo of Mick JAGGER and ROLLING STONES and Bobby Keys and Mick TAYLOR, Bobby Keys, Mick Jagger, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts performing live onstage (Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MARCH 07: Supporting member of the Rolling Stones, keyboardist Chuck Leavell and sax player Bobby Keys are seen upon departure at Haneda Airport on March 7, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/GC Images)
Mick Jagger, the lead singer of British rock group The Rolling Stones, performs on stage at Hayarkon Park in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, on June 4, 2014. The Rolling Stones staged a live concert in Tel Aviv as a part of their '14-On-Fire' world tour. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 04: Keith Richards and Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones perform on stage at Park HaYarkon on June 4, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Guy Prives/Redferns via Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - JUNE 04: Keith Richards and Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones perform on stage at Park HaYarkon on June 4, 2014 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Guy Prives/Redferns via Getty Images)
Lead singer of British band Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, performs at the Rock in Rio Lisboa music festival at Bela Vista Park in Lisbon on May 29, 2014. Rock in Rio runs from May 25 to June 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA (Photo credit should read PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 03: Alfred 'Chuck' Leavell, keyboard player for The Rolling Stones, stands by the Western Wall in the old city on June 3, 2014 in Jerusalem, Israel. The band is due to play Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv as part of their world tour. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger performs during a concert in Hayrkon Park in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, leads the rest of the band down the steps, with Keith Richards, front centre, Ronnie wood, right, and drummer Charlie Watts, as the rock group arrive in Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, June 2, 2014. The Rolling Stones will play a concert in Israel on upcoming Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, performs with Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, left, and drummer Charlie Watts during a concert in Hayrkon Park in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
FILE - In this Feb. 26, 2014 file photo, the Rolling Stones perform during their concert at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo. Israeli concert promoter Shuki Weiss said Tuesday March 25, 2014 that the legendary band will play in Tel Aviv on June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)
Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Keith Richards and Bobby Keys of the Rolling Stones (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Bobby Keys at the First Fleet Center in Boston, MA (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: HONOLULU Photo of ROLLING STONES, L-R: Bobby Keys, Mick Taylor, Mick Jagger, Keith Richardsm Charlie Watts performing live onstage (Photo by Robert Knight Archive/Redferns)
UNSPECIFIED - MAY 01: Photo of NEW BARBARIANS and Bobby KEYS and Ron WOOD and ROLLING STONES; Bobby Keys (L) and Ronnie Wood performing on stage, playing saxophone (Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns)
The Rolling Stones perform at the Roundhouse, London, 14th March 1971. The band features Bobby Keys on saxophone, left, and Mick Taylor on guitar, centre. (Photo by Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Bobby Keys, a saxophonist and life-long rock 'n roller known to millions for his blasting solo on the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar," has died at his home in Franklin, Tennessee. He was 70 years old.

Michael Webb, who played keyboard with Keys, said Keys died on Tuesday after a lengthy illness. Keys had been out on tour with the Stones earlier this year before his health prevented him from performing.

"The Rolling Stones are devastated by the loss of their very dear friend and legendary saxophone player, Bobby Keys," the band said in a statement. "Bobby made a unique musical contribution to the band since the 1960s. He will be greatly missed."

Known for his heavy jowls and forceful style, the Texas native was born on the same day as Keith Richards - Dec. 18, 1943 - and the Stones' guitarist would often cite Keys as a soul mate and favorite musician. Besides "Brown Sugar," Keys also played memorable solos on such Stones favorites as the 7-minute jam "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" and the country-styled "Sweet Virginia." Other career highlights included John Lennon's chart-topping "Whatever Gets You Through the Night."

"I have lost the largest pal in the world, and I can't express the sense of sadness I feel, although Bobby would tell me to cheer up," Keith Richards wrote in a statement.

Keys' career dated back to the 1950s, when as a teenager he played with Buddy Holly and The Crickets. He joined the Stones in the late 1960s and was with them off and on over the following decades. He also played on Richards' solo album "Talk is Cheap."

Rolling Stones Saxophonist Dies

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