Eric Clapton

An acoustic guitar given to him on his 13th birthday launched Eric Clapton on an eventful journey to become one of the world's most innovative and revered electric guitarists. Hooked on Chicago blues, he joined The Yardbirds in 1963 but, dismayed by their drift towards pop, left two years later to join John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. His reputation as a groundbreaking guitarist was forged with Mayall, notably on their hugely influential 1966 LP 'Blues Breakers'. Shortly afterwards he formed the explosive supergroup Cream with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker and their inspirational improvisations made them one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Cream split in 1968 and Clapton popped up in other guises, notably releasing the classic 'Layla' with Derek and The Dominos. He subsequently overcame drink and drug addiction to adopt a mellower style with solo hits like 'Wonderful Tonight' and 'Tears in Heaven' which he wrote about the death of his infant son. He took part in the Live Aid concert in 1985 and had several successful albums in the latter 1980s including 'August', 'Journeyman' and 'Crossroads'. He began writing music for film and television winning a BAFTA Awards for Best Original Television Music for 'Edge of Darkness' in 1985. The 1990s saw Clapton return to his blues roots with 'From the Cradle', an album created as a tribute to some of his greatest influences. In 1998 came the release of his first new music in almost a decade with 'Pilgrim'. Shortly after came 'Riding With the King', a record he made with blues icon BB King in 2000, followed by 'Reptile' in 2001 and 'Back Home' in 2005. Also in 2005 he reunited with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce of Cream for four reunion shows at London's Royal Albert Hall and three at Madison Square Garden in New York. He won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album in 2008 for 'The Road to Escondido and embarked on a solo world tour. He performed with fellow former Yardbird Jeff Beck in London and New York in 2010 and later with Roger Daltrey across America. His 20th album, 'Clapton', was released in 2010 followed by 'Old Sock' in 2013 and 'I Still Do' in 2016. He announced his retirement from touring and recording after being diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy.

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