CNN is reporting that Clerance Clemons just died. Sad day. He was the reason I played the saxaphone throughout high school and college. RIP. (CNN) -- Legendary rock saxophonist Clarence Clemons died Saturday of complications from a stroke, bandmate Bruce Springsteen said. He was 69. Clemons had played sax in Springsteen's E Street Band off and on since 1972. "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," Springsteen said in a statement. "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." Clemons passed away at a hospital in Palm Beach, Florida, where he had stayed ever since suffering a stroke last Sunday, said a spokesperson for Springsteen and the E Street Band. He was surrounded by members of his family, including his wife, Victoria, according to the spokesperson. Tributes to the musician began to pour in on Springsteen's Facebook page Saturday night. "RIP CC, you were the heart and soul of the E Street Band. Thank you for all the music, you got me through some dark days. Blessings on your journey," one post read. "I just can't imagine that space on stage not being occupied by the big man. We are all better people having been moved by your huge music. Now go play with Louis, Miles and the rest and have a blast," read another.