Legendary Musician David Sanborn Dies at 78

Legendary Musician David Sanborn Dies at 78

(DailyDig.com) – A Grammy-winning saxophonist, David Sanborn, who was not only proficient in many music genres, died at 78 on May 12. He died after a lengthy bout with prostate cancer.

A message on Twitter from his account announced his death, and the sadness felt at the loss of such a talent after winning six Grammy Awards left them with sadness.

Despite receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis during his 2018 touring schedule, Sanborn persisted with his tour. His current tour schedule was to extend into 2025.

Raised in Missouri, Sanborn contracted polio at 3 years old. During his recovery, he expressed that paralysis rendered him incapacitated for a significant portion of his time. He spent his time in bed listening to the radio, and at 11 years old, he took up the saxophone to help strengthen his ability to breathe on doctors’ orders.

As he recovered from polio, he continued to pursue his love of music by attending Northwestern University. After school, at 24, he was part of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and in 1969, the band performed at Woodstock.

Sanborn also toured with other notable artists, like in 1972 with Stevie Wonder. He also performed on Wonder’s “Talking Book” album prior to touring with David Bowie during his “Young Americans” tour. During the making of the “Young Americans” album, Sanford also played the lead guitar role.

He also toured and recorded with Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, and Steely Dan. In 1975, Bruce Springsteen included him on the hit song “Born to Run.”

His career in music saw Sanborn blend his saxophone into not only the typical jazz motif but also rhythm and blues, pop, and rock-n-roll genres. He produced over 24 albums. He released his debut album, “Taking Off,” in 1975, and won his first Grammy Award for his “Voyeur” album in 1981.

After playing for other artists, they soon reciprocated by joining Sanford as he made his many albums. Clapton performed with him on the “Lethal Weapon” and “Scrooged” film soundtracks.

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