Eric Clapton

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Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE (born 30 March 1945) is an English guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton ranked fourth in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time"[2] and fourth in Gibson's Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.[3] Guitarist Little Steven writing Clapton's entry for Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", on which Clapton ranked 53rd, said "Eric Clapton is the most important and influential guitar player that has ever lived, is still living or ever will live."[4]

Clapton was born in Ripley, Surrey in 1945, and brought up by his grandparents after his father returned home to Canada. After leaving school in 1961, Clapton studied briefly at the Kingston College of Art before taking up guitar playing in pubs around Surrey. He joined his first band, "The Roosters", in 1963. He founded Crossroads, a facility to help substance abusers recover.[5]

Stylistically, Clapton's guitar playing is rooted in the blues, but he has innovated in a wide variety of genres including blues-rock (with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and The Yardbirds) and psychedelic pop (with Cream). Most of Clapton's singles have not been blues songs. "Tears in Heaven" was a melodic ballad, and his version of Bob Marley's reggae "I Shot the Sheriff" helped popularise Bob Marley and broaden the appeal of reggae.[6] Two of his most popular recordings were "Layla", recorded by Derek and the Dominos, and Robert Johnson's "Crossroads", recorded by Cream. A recipient of seventeen Grammy Awards,[7] in 2004 Clapton was awarded a CBE for services to music.[8]

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