18:01 03 December 2014
Legendary sax player Bobby Keys, who played with the Rolling Stones for decades, has died at the age of 70 at his home in Tennessee following long illness.
Friends confirmed that the musician has been battling long-term liver problems following his well-documented problems with alcohol and heroin.
The Rolling Stones said that they were devastated with the news.
In a statement, the band said: 'The Rolling Stones are devastated by the loss of their very dear friend and legendary saxophone player, Bobby Keys.
'Bobby made a unique musical contribution to the band since the 1960s. He will be greatly missed.'
'He was a good friend and an inspiration to play with,' said long-time friend and Nashville rock veteran Michael Webb, who performed with Keys in a band of Southern rock all-stars called Bobby Keys and the Suffering Bastards.
He added: 'About two months ago, he started wrestling with his health. He has been in and out of (the hospital) several times.'
Keys has first recorded with the band in 1960s following a stint for Buddy Holly. He went on and toured with the group over the following decades.
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