Eric Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; once as a solo artist and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream. In the mid-1960s, Clapton left the Yardbirds to play blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Immediately after leaving Mayall, Clapton formed the power trio Cream with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce, in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and “arty, blues-based psychedelic pop.” Furthermore, he formed blues rock band Blind Faith with Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech. For most of the 1970s, Clapton’s output bore the influence of the mellow style of J.J. Cale and the reggae of Bob Marley. His version of Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff” helped reggae reach a mass market. Two of his most popular recordings were “Layla,” recorded with Derek and the Dominos and Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads,” recorded with Cream. Clapton has been the recipient of 18 Grammy Awards, the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and he was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music in 2004. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time.
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