LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Clarence Clemons, the saxophone player in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, has suffered a stroke, according to a pair of media reports on Sunday.
Reuters could not confirm the reports, and late-night emails sent to publicists for Clemons and Springsteen were not answered.
The news was broken by entertainment gossip website showbiz411.com, which said Clemons was "seriously ill" after suffering the stroke at his Florida home. Rolling Stone magazine said it independently confirmed the stroke, but not its severity.
Clemons, 69, started playing with Springsteen in 1971, and had notable solos on such tunes as "Born to Run," "Thunder Road" and "Badlands." He was dubbed "Big Man," which was also the title of a 2009 memoir he co-wrote with Don Reo.
Away from the E Street Band, Clemons enjoyed a hit single in 1985 with "You're a Friend of Mine," a duet with Jackson Browne. He also dabbled in acting, and worked with other artists including Ringo Starr, Aretha Franklin and Lady Gaga.
Clemons underwent double knee-replacement surgery in 2008, and walked for the first time in three months when Springsteen and the E Street Band played the Super Bowl early in 2009.
(Reporting by Dean Goodman)