Saxophonist Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band is "seriously ill" after suffering a stroke in his Florida home, reports 411.com. Clemons, 69, has had a series of recent health problems primarily related to his back and knees, but performed just last month with Lady Gaga on the finale of American Idol. He was supposed to play the National Anthem last week during the NBA finals, but canceled at the last minute, reports Rolling Stone. Back and knee pain made his last E Street tour last year "hell, pure hell," Clemons told Rolling Stone earlier this year.
Since then, Clemons had both knees replaced and spinal fusion surgery. No other information about his current condition was immediately available. His soulful sax sound is a defining element of the popular E Street Band. Clemons has vowed that almost nothing would keeping him from playing with the group. "As long as my mouth, hands and brain still work I'll be out there doing it," he said in an interview early this year. "I'm going to keep going 'til I'm not there anymore." (Read more Clarence Clemons stories.)