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Clarence Clemons reportedly suffered a stroke at his Florida home over the weekend, and is said to be “seriously ill.” Here are a few things you may not know about the saxophonist.
1. Nicknamed the “Big Man,” he joined Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band in the ‘70s. He hasn’t performed with the band since December 2010. He’s weathered a series of ailments over the last decade and, after undergoing knee and back surgery last year, has been confined to a wheelchair on and off.
2. He’s released several solo albums. In 1985, his duet with Jackson Browne, “You’re a Friend of Mine,” was a hit. He’s collaborated on songs with Aretha Franklin (“Freeway of Love”) and Twisted Sister (“Be Chrool to Your Scuel”) and has performed in concert with The Grateful Dead and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.
3. He’s appeared in several films, including New York, New York and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and TV shows, including Diff’rent Strokes, Nash Bridges, The Simpsons and The Wire.
4. He performed with Lady Gaga on the season 10 American Idol finale. Watch the video below.
5. He appears on two of Lady Gaga’s songs from Born This Way: “Hair” and “Edge of Glory.” Gaga producer Fernando Garibay recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about getting the 69-year-old horn legend to record a solo for “Glory” in New York City: “It was magical. He found his pocket and we ended up keeping the first take. Clarence is brilliant.”
6. In 2009, he wrote an autobiography with the help of a TV writer friend Don Reo called Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales.
7. He was due to perform the National Anthem before game 2 of the Dallas-Mavericks NBA Finals game last week, but was forced to cancel at the last minute with a hand injury. He watched the game from the stands with NBA stars Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning. NBA Championship: LeBron James mocked on Twitter
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