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Source: SAMUEL KUBANI / Getty

We are sad to report that David Sanborn, beloved saxophonist who has worked with the likes of Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and others, passed away on Sunday, May 12 at the age of 78.

An official statement was shared on his social media accounts on Monday.

The full statement:

It is with sad and heavy hearts that we convey to you the loss of internationally renowned, 6 time Grammy Award-winning, saxophonist, David Sanborn. Mr. Sanborn passed Sunday afternoon, May 12th, after an extended battle with prostate cancer with complications.

Mr. Sanborn had been dealing with prostate cancer since 2018, but had been able to maintain his normal schedule of concerts until just recently. Indeed he already had concerts scheduled into 2025.

David Sanborn was a seminal figure in contemporary pop and jazz music. It has been said that he “put the saxophone back into Rock ’n Roll.”

As reported by Billboard, Sanborn played alongside many music icons throughout his illustrious career, including B.B. King, Elton John, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, and more.

Most notably, he toured with Stevie Wonder and played on his Talking Book album. He also performed with David Bowie and was prominently featured on his 1975 classic, “Young Americans.” (The track also featured Luther Vandross on backup.)

As an artist, Sanborn had 17 albums land on the Billboard 200. His 1986 collab with Bob James, Double Vision, stayed on the chart for a whopping 64 weeks. He also had a dozen albums reach the top 10 on Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart, including four #2 albums.

Sanborn won a total of six Grammy Awards throughout his career, including two for “Best Jazz Fusion Performance,” two for “Best R&B Instrumental Performance,” and one each for “Best Pop Instrumental Performance” and “Best Contemporary Jazz Performance.”