David Sanborn has died at 78 after playing sax on some of rock and pop's most famous songs, including David Bowie's "Young Americans," Bruce Springsteen's "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" and Eagles' "The Sad Cafe," among others.

His death followed an extended battle with prostate cancer, according to Sanborn's official social media accounts. Rolling Stone also confirmed his passing on Sunday afternoon in Tarrytown, New York.

Sanborn was a jazz star in his own right, releasing more than two dozen albums – including five consecutive jazz chart-toppers in the early '80s. He hosted the jazz program Night Music from 1988-90 producer Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live fame, while earning six Grammys.

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Yet Sanborn continued bringing his horn to sessions with some of the biggest names on the Hot 100. That's Sanborn on Steely Dan's "Time Out of Mind," Stevie Wonder's "Tuesday Heartbreak," Pure Prairie League's "Let Me Love You Tonight," James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)," J.D. Souther's "You're Only Lonely" and Kenny Loggins' "Heart to Heart." Never a jazz purist, he toured with Bowie and Wonder, too.

"I'm not so interested in what is or isn't jazz,” Sanborn told Downbeat in 2017. "The guardians of the gate can be quite combative, but what are they protecting? Jazz has always absorbed and transformed what's around it. … Real musicians don't have any time to spend thinking about limited categories."

Listen to David Sanborn With David Bowie

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You'll find Sanborn on lots of deep cuts, too. He appeared on the Rolling Stones' Undercover, Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years, Todd Rundgren's A Wizard, a True Star, Elton John's Blue Moves, Linda Ronstadt's Living in the USA, Roger Waters' The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Toto's Fahrenheit, Eric Clapton's Journeyman and Billy Joel's An Innocent Man, among many others.

Beyond dealing with cancer, Sanborn had recently canceled dates to deal with a spinal issue. He'd already survived a polio diagnosis as a toddler. Early in his career, Sanborn was also a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band for a string of albums beginning with 1967's The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw.

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