Saxophonist/vocalist Clarence Clemons
was a member of Bruce Springsteen
's backup group, the E Street Band
, from 1973 to 2011. Clemons
' soulful R&B stylings became a key element of the band's sound, notably on Springsteen's breakthrough hit "Born to Run" along with other singles and album tracks. Given his fiery soloing, audience rapport, and obvious camaraderie with Springsteen and the other E Street Band members, he was also a fan favorite during the group's marathon live sets. Clemons
released several solo albums and scored a duet hit with Jackson Browne
, "You're a Friend of Mine." He died on June 18, 2011 due to complications from a stroke. Springsteen delivered the eulogy at Clemons
' funeral in Palm Beach, Florida, telling attendees, "He loved the saxophone, loved our fans, and gave everything he had every night he stepped on-stage."