ERIC CLAPTON (Music) is one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of both The Yardbirds and Cream.
Clapton's love of the blues and American R&B led him to learn guitar and study the masters of that music form. After pinch-hitting in a number of British blues bands in the early '60s, Clapton rose to prominence in The Yardbirds. He left in 1966 to join John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, after that he formed Cream with bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. The band quickly became the preeminent rock trio of the late '60s; its winning combination of psychedelica blended with fiery remakes of such blues standards as "Spoonful," "Crossroads" and "Born Under a Bad Sign" further elevated Clapton's reputation.
Clapton's post-Cream undertakings were equally admired. He formed Blind Faith in 1969, a band that enjoyed tremendous popularity with its self-titled No. 1 album. In 1970 he followed with a debut self-titled solo album.
Albums in the '70s and '80s such as There's One In Every Crowd, E.C. Was Here and No Reason To Cry were all Top 20 chart hits. In 1988, Clapton released the double-platinum Crossroads, covering every phase of his career. Clapton reached new heights in 1992 with the release of the soundtrack to the motion picture Rush and its Grammy-winning Top 5 single "Tears in Heaven." That same year, Unplugged, recorded live on the MTV program, hit No.1 for three weeks straight and earned six Grammy Awards.
Clapton has made his presence felt in the realm of film soundtracks with contributions to such movies as Rush, Back to the Future, The Color of Money, Lethal Weapon 3 and Lethal Weapon 4. His greatest soundtrack success came with "Change The World," the endearing smash hit from the film Phenomenon, which won three Grammy awards.
After nearly a decade since the release of a new album of original material, Clapton recently released the critically acclaimed Pilgrim.