London: The Rolling Stones rock band expressed grief on Wednesday over the death of American saxophonist Bobby Keys who performed with the group for decades in live performances and on some of its best known recordings.
Keys, who died in the US Tuesday at age 70 of cirrhosis, was also famous for performing with British blues guitarist Eric Clapton and US rocker Buddy Holly, in addition to his work with The Rolling Stones.
In a statement published on the band's website, the Rolling Stones said they "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," the band added in their statement.
The Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards said, "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."
Keys, who was born in Texas, in 1943, had to cancel several concerts recently due to poor health.