Eric Clapton

  • Birth Name: Eric Patrick Clapton
  • Birth Place: Ripley, Surrey, England
  • Profession: Singer, songwriter, guitarist
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Fast Facts

  • Raised by his grandparents.
  • Believed that his mother Patricia, who had him out of wedlock at 16, was his sister; learned the truth when he was 9.
  • Never met his biological father, who was a Canadian soldier stationed in Britain during World War II.
  • Introduced to the blues by Uncle Mac's Children's Hour, a children's radio show that occasionally played blues songs. 
  • Received his first guitar at age 13.
  • Joined his first band, the Roosters, at age 17, in early 1963.
  • Recruited to the Yardbirds in October 1963; earned the nickname "Slowhand" during his stint with the band.
  • Quit the Yardbirds because of their move to a pop sound with the hit single "For Your Love."
  • Joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, a blues-purist group, in 1965. It was with them that he earned another nickname: "God."
  • Formed Cream with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker in July 1966.
  • Broke up Cream in 1968 due to personality conflicts and a desire to get away from music driven by extended guitar solos. 
  • Played lead guitar on the Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."
  • Became a close friend of George Harrison. 
  • Formed the supergroup Blind Faith with Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker and Ric Grech after Cream disbanded. The band released one album before breaking up.
  • Though unsure of himself as a singer, he pressed on with vocals and released his self-titled solo debut in 1970.
  • Formed Derek and the Dominos in 1970, releasing the classic Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs album that same year.
  • Inspired by his then-unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, wife of George Harrison, to write "Layla."
  • Wrote the Grammy-winning "Tears From Heaven" for his 4-year-old son Conor, who died in 1991 when he fell from a 53rd-floor apartment in New York City.
  • Struggled with addictions to alcohol and heroin, finally becoming sober in 1987.
  • Founded Crossroads Centre, an alcohol-drug treatment facility in Antigua, in 1998.
  • Has played guitar on songs by (among many others) Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, George Harrison, Elton John, B.B. King, John Lennon and Frank Zappa.
  • Three-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: with the Yardbirds (1992), Cream (1993) and on his own (2000).
  • Published the acclaimed, best-selling Clapton: The Autobiography in 2007.


  • 1999, Grammy — Best Rock Instrumental Performance: Winner
  • 1992, Grammy — Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male: Winner
  • 1990, Grammy — Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male: Winner
  • 1992, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2000, Grammy — Best Traditional Blues Album: Winner
  • 1998, Grammy — Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: Winner
  • 1994, Grammy — Best Traditional Blues Album: Winner
  • 1992, Grammy — Song of the Year: Winner
  • 1992, Grammy — Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male: Winner
  • 2001, Grammy — Best Pop Instrumental Performance: Winner
  • 1992, Grammy — Album of the Year: Winner
  • 1972, Grammy — Album of the Year: Winner
  • 1996, Grammy — Best Rock Instrumental Performance: Winner
  • 2008, Emmy — Outstanding Special Class - Not-exclusively-made-for-television Variety, Music, Comedy Event Programs: Winner
  • 1996, Grammy — Record of the Year: Winner
  • 1992, Grammy — Record of the Year: Winner
  • 1992, Grammy — Best Rock Song: Winner
  • 1996, Grammy — Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: Winner
  • 2007, Grammy — Best Contemporary Blues Album: Winner


  • Frank MacDonald — Stepfather
  • Rose Clapp — Grandmother
  • Yvonne Kelly — Ex-significant Other
  • Patricia Molly Clapton — Mother
  • Edward Walter Fryer — Father
  • Ella May Clapton — Daughter
  • Conor Clapton — Son
  • Julie Rose Clapton — Daughter
  • Sophie Belle Clapton — Daughter
  • Jack Clapp — Grandfather
  • Pattie Boyd — Ex-wife
  • Melia McEnery — Wife
  • Sheryl Crow — Ex-significant Other
  • Brian MacDonald — Half Brother
  • Heather MacDonald — Half Sister
  • Lory Del Santo — Ex-significant Other
  • Ruth Clapton — Daughter
  • Cheryl MacDonald — Half Sister


  • Attended Kingston College of Art, Kingston-Upon-Thames, England
Cord-Cutting Guide. Credit: Robert Rodriguez / TV Guide

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