The ’90s have produced a lot of legends in the music industry, and Eric Clapton is one of those legends.
He was born to a very young mother, faced difficulties in his music career and still fighting for it, and lost his 4-year-old son, but Eric still stands tall and is a legend to date.
Scroll down to read about the bio, career, and personal life of this great musical legend.
|Birthdate||March 30, 1945|
|Age||78 years old|
|Mother||Patricia Molly Clapton (died in 1999)|
|Father||Edward Walter Fryer (1920-1985)|
|Music Awards||– 18 Grammy Awards|
– Brit Award for contributions to the music industry
– Ivor Novello Award (Lifetime Achievement) from the British Academy
|Notable Awards||– Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)|
– Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as a member of Cream
– Named an asteroid, 4305 Clapton, in 2015
– Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in 2017
|– Children: Ruth, Conor (deceased), Julie Rose, Ella May, Sophie Belle|
|– Wears hearing aids for protection during performances|
|Net Worth||$450 million as of the latest available information|
Eric Clapton was born on March 30, 1945. He is 78 years old. He celebrates his birthday regularly. His birthday pictures are not shared on the internet because he likes to maintain his privacy, but one thing is certain: Eric celebrates his birthday in ways that suit him best.
During his 70th birthday, he dressed in Kermit The Frog costume, as seen in the picture leaked to the internet by his daughter, Ruth Clapton. The leaking of the picture led to friction in Eric’s and Ruth’s father-daughter relationship, but they have sorted that out.
Eric Clapton is a native of Ripley, Surrey. His mother (Patricia Molly Clapton) gave birth to him when she was just 16 years old and died in 1999. His father, Edward Walter Fryer, was born in 1920 and died in 1985 at 65.
His father was 25 years old when Eric was born. He was a soldier and a native of Montreal, Canada.
Before Eric was born, his father left for war and then returned months later back to Canada to receive his newborn and wife. During the time he was away, Eric was taken care of by his mother and his grandmother, Rose.
Little Eric grew up in the absence of his father, which sort of distorted his perception of his mother and grandmother.
He took his biological mother as his older sister as she was looking pretty young at the time when Eric was a little boy. As Eric and his mother were living with his grandmother, Rose, who’d remarried Jack Clapp after her first husband had died – Eric thought his grandmother was actually his mother.
Eric Clapton’s Guitars
Like Hank Marvin, the Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix, Clapton had a big impact on making certain electric guitar models popular.
In his time with the Yardbirds, he played various guitars, including a Fender Telecaster, a Fender Jazzmaster, a double-cutaway Gretsch 6120, and a 1964 Cherry-Red Gibson ES-335.
Starting from around mid-1965, he exclusively played Gibson guitars, particularly a sunburst Gibson Les Paul he bought in London. Clapton switched to the Fender Stratocaster in late 1969, using iconic guitars like “Brownie” and “Blackie.”
He sold “Blackie” in 2004 to raise funds for his Crossroads Centre. Fender and Martin & Company make signature guitars in Clapton’s honor, including a Stratocaster and various acoustic models.
Clapton’s choice of strings is Ernie Ball Slinky and Super Slinky, with a gauge of .10 to .46. For over thirty years, his guitar technician was Lee Dickson.
Eric Clapton has 18 Grammy Awards to his name and a Brit Award for his contributions to the music industry, for which he earned a CBE award In 2004 for his services to music.
The British Academy awarded Eric with an Ivor Novello Award that included a Lifetime Achievement Award.
As a solo artist, he has sold over 280 million songs worldwide, making his name one of the highest-selling record artists of all time.
In 1998, he founded Crossroads Centre in Antigua. This is because he was an alcoholic and substance addict and was recovering. Crossroads Centre serves as a medical facility and home for individuals who were once addicts and were on the road to recovery from drug abuse.
Eric Clapton’s Awards and Honours
|Year||Award / Recognition|
|1983||Presented the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors.|
|1985||Presented the Silver Clef Award from Princess Michael of Kent for outstanding British music contributions.|
|1992||“Tears in Heaven” won three Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Male Pop Vocal Performance. Clapton also won Album of the Year and Best Rock Vocal Performance for Unplugged, and Best Rock Song for “Layla”.|
|1993||Made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to music as part of the 1995 New Year Honours list.|
|1995||“Tears in Heaven” won three Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Male Pop Vocal Performance. Clapton also won Album of the Year Best Rock Vocal Performance for Unplugged, and Best Rock Song for “Layla”.|
|2000||Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the third time, this time as a solo artist. He was earlier inducted as a member of the bands Cream and the Yardbirds.|
|2004||Promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), receiving the award from the Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace as part of the 2004 New Year Honours list.|
|2006||Awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as a member of Cream.|
|2015||An asteroid, 4305 Clapton, is named after him.|
|2017||Made a Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France|
Eric Clapton’s Relationships
In the late 1960s to 1974, Clapton was with Alice Ormsby-Gore, a British aristocrat, often mistakenly reported as engaged.
He briefly dated funk singer Betty Davis. He married Pattie Boyd on 27 March 1979, in Tucson, Arizona, but their marriage faced problems due to his infidelities and domestic violence.
In a 1999 interview, Clapton admitted to mistreating Boyd during their marriage, acknowledging his past actions as a “full-blown” alcoholic who felt entitled to sex. In 1984, while recording Behind the Sun, Clapton started a relationship with Yvonne Kelly, the manager of AIR Studios Montserrat.
They had a daughter named Ruth Kelly Clapton in January 1985, kept private until the media discovered their relationship in 1991. Clapton and Boyd tried in vitro fertilization in 1984 but faced miscarriages.
Clapton had an affair with Italian model Lory Del Santo, resulting in their son, Conor, born on 21 August 1986. Clapton and Boyd divorced in 1989 after she learned about Del Santo’s pregnancy.
Conor tragically died on 20 March 1991 at the age of four. In 1998, Clapton, 53, met 22-year-old
Melia McEnery in Ohio and married her on 1 January 2002. They have three daughters: Julie Rose (born 13 June 2001), Ella May (born 14 January 2003), and Sophie Belle (born 1 February 2005).
Eric Clapton’s Wife
Melia was born in Columbus, Ohio, and later moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career. Her dad, Walter, worked in construction and had Scottish-English roots, while her mom, of Korean-Irish descent, was a homemaker.
They had six kids. Melia went to Bishop Watterson High and then studied art at an Ohio university. She also got graphic art training in Los Angeles. At 22, she met Eric Clapton at a party in 1998, and they started dating despite the 31-year age gap. They got married on New Year’s in 2002.
Melia and Eric have three daughters: Julie Rose, born in 2001; Ella May in 2003; and Sophie Belle in 2005. Eric has another daughter, Ruth Kelly, from a previous relationship.
His son Conor passed away in 1991 at age four, inspiring Eric to write the song Tears in Heaven.
Eric Clapton has been married two times. He’s a dad to five kids and has two grandchildren. He married Melia McEnery, his second wife, on January 1, 2002. They have three daughters – Julie Rose (born June 2001), Ella Mae (born January 2003), and Sophie Belle (born February 2005).
His eldest child is Ruth (born January 1985), and her mom is Yvonne Kelly. Ruth and her ex-husband, Dean Bartlett (married in September 2011, divorced in November 2020), have two sons – Isaac Eric Owen (born June 2013) and Theodore Ivan (born March 2016).
Eric’s son, Conor Loren, was born on August 21, 1986, but tragically passed away on March 20, 1991, in a New York City apartment accident. His mom, Lory Del Santo, was not married to Eric.
Here’s an information table summarizing details about Eric Clapton’s children:
|Ruth||January 1985||Yvonne Kelly||Dean Bartlett (married in September 2011, divorced in November 2020)||Sons: Isaac Eric Owen (born June 2013), Theodore Ivan (born March 2016)|
|Conor Loren||August 21, 1986||Lory Del Santo||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Julie Rose||June 2001||Melia McEnery (second wife)||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Ella Mae||January 2003||Melia McEnery (second wife)||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Sophie Belle||February 2005||Melia McEnery (second wife)||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Eric Clapton is Half Deaf
Eric Clapton suffers from deafness (tinnitus) and difficulties in playing his beloved musical instrument, but he doesn’t seem to want to let go and retire any time soon.
Despite being in his 70s, he continues to tour, but this might be contributing to his hearing issues.
His doctor in Los Angeles diagnosed him with tinnitus, a condition where the ears produce noise as a signal of hearing loss. Tinnitus is often associated with age-related hearing loss and careers involving exposure to loud environments, like those of musicians.
Eric’s condition of hearing loss and tinnitus started after he’d been singing and playing the guitar for years. Unfortunately, he spent many hours in recording studios and on stage without thinking to protect his ears.
His hearing is the most important part of his life and career, as he is the only person ever to be inducted 3 times into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
This struggle with hearing loss is not unique to Eric alone; other artists like Neil Diamond, Bono, Sting, and Ozzy Osbourne also face similar challenges, along with younger musicians like Louis Tomlinson and Jessie J.
Eric wears hearing aids now to protect his ear while performing or practicing. His doctor also recommended that he implement other remedies to deal with tinnitus. But with all these medical conditions, he still performs and goes on shows and pulls hundreds of crowds,
Eric Clapton has a net worth of around $450 million, which is 415,025,777 euros. His net worth is an evidence of a successful singing career. In 2009, Surrey Life Magazine ranked Clapton as the 17th richest person in Surrey, estimating his wealth at £120 million.
This includes his income, property, a £9 million yacht named Va Bene (previously owned by Bernie Ecclestone), music catalog, touring earnings, and his company Marshbrook Ltd, which made him £110 million since 1989.
In 2003, he bought a 50% share of Cordings Piccadilly, a gentleman’s outfitters.
Eric Clapton Cars
Since the 1970s, Clapton has been really into cars, especially Ferraris. He owns or has owned various Ferraris since 1989.
In 2010, he emphasized that Ferrari is his top choice for owning and driving. He has supported Ferrari in both regular road use and Formula One racing.
In 2012, Ferrari even made a special car just for him, the Ferrari SP12 EC. Clapton displayed it at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2013.
As of 2014, Ferrari is still his favorite car brand. Besides Ferraris, he also has or had a vintage Mini Cooper Radford, a gift from George Harrison.
Eric’s Charitable Works
In 1993, Clapton joined the board of Clouds House, a UK center for drug and alcohol treatment, serving until 1997.
He also served on The Chemical Dependency Centre’s board from 1994 to 1999. Both later merged into Action on Addiction in 2007. In 1998, he founded the Crossroads Centre in Antigua to help people overcome addictions.
He actively manages and fundraises for it. Clapton organized Crossroads Guitar Festivals in 1999, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2019 to support the center. Auctions of his guitars raised funds, with one in 1999 raising over $5 million.
In 2011, he auctioned over 150 items, raising £1.3 million for Crossroads. Clapton has supported various charities, including The Prince’s Trust and Amnesty International. He donated a song in 2008 to aid Southeast Asia after the 2004 tsunami.