Eric Clapton, the English vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, was born March 30, 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England. Clapton is the only artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times. He has been inducted as a Cream and The Yardbird member and also as a solo artist. Clapton is considered by many to be one of the all time most influential and greatest guitarists. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Clapton fourth on their “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list and Gibson also ranked Clapton fourth on their “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time” list.
From 1963 to 1965, Clapton was a member of the Yardbirds. He then left the group and joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. He was given his “Slowhand” nickname while playing with Mayall. Clapton then formed the band Cream along with bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. They played psychedelic pop that was blues based along with sustained blues improvisations. Clapton’s output during the seventies was influenced by Bob Marley’s reggae and J.J. Cale’s mellow style. Clapton’s version of “I Shot the Sheriff” by Marley helped to bring mass market appeal to reggae. Two of Clapton’s most popular recordings are the Derek and the Dominos song “Layla” and “Crossroads” by Robert Johnson.
Eric Clapton has won a total of seventeen Grammy Awards. He was honored with a CBE award in 2004. Clapton, a recovering heroin addict and alcoholic, established the Crossroads Centre in Antigua in 1998. The facility is a medical clinic designed to help recovering substance abusers.