In the mid-1960s, Clapton left the Yardbirds to play blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Immediately after leaving Mayall, Clapton joined Cream, a power trio with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce in which Clapton played sustained blues improvisations and "arty, blues-based psychedelic pop." For most of the 1970s, Clapton's output bore the influence of the mellow style of JJ 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 by Derek and the Dominos, another band he formed, and Robert Johnson's "Crossroads", recorded by Cream. Following the death of his son Conor in 1991, Clapton's grief was expressed in the song "Tears in Heaven", which featured in his Unplugged album.
Clapton has been the recipient of 17 Grammy Awards, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2004, he was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. In 1998, Clapton, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, founded the Crossroads Centre on Antigua, a medical facility for recovering substance abusers.
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