The Rolling Stones pay tribute to late saxophonist Bobby Keys

The band issued a statement regarding the loss of their “very dear friend”

The Rolling Stones have paid tribute to the late saxophonist Bobby Keys, who died yesterday (December 2) after battling cirrhosis of the liver.

Keys had played regularly with the band since 1969 and was heralded as a “dear friend” in the tribute.

The statement reads: “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.”

Guitarist Keith Richards also paid his own personal respects, posting a hand-written note which read, “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.”

On top of his work as a session musician with George Harrison, The Who, Eric Clapton and many more, Keys is best known for his sax solo on The Rolling Stones’ 1971 hit ‘Brown Sugar’, and featured on the 1969 album ‘Let It Bleed’ as well as the LPs ‘Sticky Fingers’, ‘Exile On Main St’, ‘Goats Head Soup’ and ‘Emotional Rescue’.

Keys released two solo albums, 1972’s ‘Bobby Keys’ – which featured George Harrison and Ringo Starr of The Beatles – and 1975’s ‘Gimme The Key’.