Over a career spanning almost half a century, Eric Clapton, an unassuming rock god from Southern England, achieved recognition as one of the greatest guitar players of all time and crafted a staggering, expansive catalog. Clapton burst on to the scene when he joined the Yardbirds in 1963. Though he only stayed with the group for two short years, his bluesy style left an indelible imprint on the band.
After a three-month stint with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Clapton formed Cream, one of rock 'n' roll's first supergroups. Rounded out by Jack Bruce (bass) and Ginger Baker (drums), the group churned out a ridiculous amount of classic material in only two years. They released four excellent LP's, featuring some of rock's best loved songs. Numbers like "Badge," "Sunshine of Your Love," and "I'm So Glad" continue to be sources of pleasure for fans and sources of influence for musicians.
By 1970, Clapton had released classic albums with Blind Faith and Derek & the Dominos, and seemed ready to strike out on his own. He released his eponymous debut solo album in 1970, which is a classic slab of the kind of blues-rock that would become his signature sound. Over the next 35 years, Clapton has delighted fans with myriad timeless rock songs. From popular ballads ("Wonderful Tonight," "Change the World") to rollicking jams ("Cocaine," "I Can't Stand It"), Clapton has maintained relevance in an ever-changing music scene.
Clapton's most commercially successful musical achievement came off the back of his life's greatest tragedy. On March 21st of 1991, Clapton's four year-old son Conor fell out of his ex-wife's friend's 53rd-story apartment window. An aggrieved Clapton penned "Tears in Heaven" as a tribute to his fallen son. The poignant number touched the hearts of people around the world, and it helped Clapton bag six Grammys in 1991.
Clapton continues to write music, record, and tour, and has enjoyed critical adulation and commercial success with his collaborations with B.B. King and Carlos Santana, among many others.