|Eric Patrick Clapton was born on March 30, 1945, in Surrey, England.
Inspired by seeing Jerry Lee Lewis on British television and a love of American blues and R&B music, Clapton learned to play guitar. Expelled from school for playing guitar in class at 17, Clapton worked as a manual laborer before becoming a member of the Yardbirds.
After the release of two albums, Clapton left the Yardbirds in 1965 and joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Clapton left the Bluesbreakers in 1966 to form Cream with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker.
After Cream folded in 1968, Clapton, Baker, Rick Grech, and Steve Winwood recorded Blind Faith and toured as the first "supergroup."
Clapton released his first solo album in 1970. His second album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs included the hit "Layla."
Clapton released a number of albums during the 1980s.
On August 27, 1990, guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and two members of Clapton's road crew were killed in a helicopter crash. Just a few months later, on March 20, 1991, Clapton's son, Connor, died after falling from the high-rise apartment owned by the child's mother, Lori Del Santo.
Clapton's touching tribute to his son, "Tears in Heaven" was released as a single in 1992. Clapton received six Grammys for the single and for the album Unplugged.
Clapton has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three tims - as a member of the Yardbirds, as a member of Cream, and as a solo artist.