Eric Clapton, a renowned English guitarist and singer, stands tall as an expert on strings in the realm of legendary musicians. From the mesmerizing tunes and soulful lyrics lies a financial journey that measures the success and longevity of his musical career.
Eric Clapton’s estimated net worth is $450 million. Let’s explore the history and financial tale of Eric Clapton’s net worth.
Estimated Career Income
Eric’s passion for music has never been financial; rather, it’s the genuine pleasure of playing an instrument live.
The only way we can hear his new songs played live is by other musicians, as he is no longer on tour.
An approximate breakdown of Eric Clapton’s yearly earnings in salary is provided below:
How Much is Eric Clapton Worth?
With a net worth of $450 million, Eric Clapton, CBE, is a prominent British rock singer known for his prowess as a blues-rock guitarist and vocalist. Renowned for his musical achievements, Clapton holds the 53rd position on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s list of the Top 100 Artists Of All-Time and an impressive second place on their compilation of the greatest guitarists. Having sold over 100 million albums globally, he stands as one of the best-selling artists in history.
Clapton’s influence extends through his 21 solo studio albums, all of which have received gold and various certifications. These albums feature hits such as “After Midnight,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Wonderful Tonight,” and the Grammy-winning acoustic rendition of “Layla.”
Recognized for his contributions to music, Clapton was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1995 and later elevated to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2004. In 2017, he was honored with the title of Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and has received a total of 17 Grammy Awards.
Beyond his music career, Clapton has amassed considerable wealth through investments in real estate, artwork, and automobiles. His automotive collection, valued between $50 million and $100 million, boasts several exceptionally rare Ferraris. The evaluation of his art collection is challenging, highlighted by a notable anecdote: in 2001, Clapton spent $3.4 million on three paintings by Gerhard Richter, selling each for $77.3 million. Crunching the numbers, he made a total of $231.9 million.
Eric Clapton Career (summarized)
Eric Clapton started his music career at the age of 16, in 1961, showcasing his skills in playing the guitar. As he couldn’t concentrate on his studies, he took to the streets of Kingston, Richmond, and The West End in London to busk.
In 1962, he collaborated with Dave Brock, to perform at pubs in Surrey. At the age of 17, he joined his first music band, the Roosters, an early British R&B group that also included Tom McGuinness as a guitarist. He remained with the band from January to August 1963. Later that year, he played seven gigs with Casey Jones & the Engineers.
In October 1963, Eric Clapton joined the Yardbirds, a rhythm and blues band, synthesizing influences from Chicago blues with prominent guitarists like Buddy Guy and B.B. King.
Clapton’s time at the Royal Albert Hall began in 1964, and he has since performed there over 200 times. In March 1965, the Yardbirds achieved a major hit with “For Your Love,” leading them towards a pop-oriented sound. However, Clapton, dedicated to the blues, left the band when the song was released. He recommended Jimmy Page as his replacement, but Page declined out of loyalty.
Clapton then joined John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, leaving and rejoining multiple times. He left in April 1965, but returned in November, only to exit again in July 1966.
Notably, during his Bluesbreakers stint, Clapton gained fame for playing on the influential album “Blues Breakers – John Mayall – With Eric Clapton.” His iconic sound, marked by a Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar and Marshall amplifier, led to the infamous graffiti “Clapton is God” in 1967.
Despite the acclaim, Clapton humbly expressed in 1987 that he never accepted being the greatest guitar player, considering it an ideal rather than a reality.
Eric Clapton left the Bluesbreakers in July 1966 and joined Cream, a supergroup formed by drummer Ginger Baker with Jack Bruce on bass.
By 1967, Clapton was regarded as Britain’s top guitarist, though Jimi Hendrix’s emergence challenged his position. Hendrix passed at the age of 28, three years after Clapton was recognized as Britain’s top guitarist.
Internal conflicts, fueled by drug and alcohol use, led to Cream’s disbandment in 1968.
In 1969, Eric Clapton formed the supergroup Blind Faith with Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech. Their debut, including the hit “Can’t Find My Way Home,” led to a brief arena tour before the band dissolved due to internal issues after seven months.
Clapton toured with Delaney and Bonnie, contributing to Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band. Influenced by Delaney Bramlett, he recorded his first solo album, featuring the unexpected hit “After Midnight.”
In 1970, Clapton formed Derek and the Dominos, aiming to counteract the star cult around him. Their iconic album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” was influenced by Clapton’s unrequited love for George Harrison’s ex-wife, Pattie Boyd. They also did a version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing.”
The tragic deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman marked the band’s turbulent journey. Eric wanted to do ‘Little Wing’ as a tribute because he really respected Jimi Hendrix.
Clapton’s departure and Allman’s death led to the group’s disbandment, with tragic events continuing in the lives of the members, including drummer Jim Gordon’s incarceration due to schizophrenia.
In the 1970s, Eric Clapton’s professional success stood in stark contrast to personal struggles, marked by romantic turmoil and substance abuse. Infatuated with Pattie Boyd and conflicted over his friendship with George Harrison, Clapton faced addiction and retreated to isolation as Derek and the Dominos, the band he formed in 1970, disbanded.
His heroin addiction break was interrupted by a tumultuous appearance at George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. Pete Townshend organized the “Rainbow Concert” in 1973 to help Clapton overcome his drug addiction.
In 1974, Clapton, free from his addiction, assembled a new band and released “461 Ocean Boulevard,” featuring the hit “I Shot the Sheriff,” introducing reggae to a broader audience. The subsequent album, “There’s One in Every Crowd,” continued this trend. Clapton’s live LP, “E. C. Was Here,” captured performances from the tour. His collaboration with Bob Dylan and The Band on “No Reason to Cry” and the album “Slowhand,” with hits like “Wonderful Tonight” and “Cocaine,” showcased his continued musical prowess.
In 1981, Eric Clapton participated in the Amnesty International benefit, The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball, marking a significant return to form. Teaming up with Jeff Beck for their first billed stage collaboration, their duets were featured on the show’s album.
A deepening commitment to Christianity influenced Clapton’s comeback, which included overcoming alcoholism. Struggling with addiction, he entered Hazelden Treatment Center in 1982.
Despite initial challenges, Clapton maintained sobriety and continued his music career, releasing “Money and Cigarettes” in 1983. In 1984, he collaborated with Roger Waters on “The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking” and participated in the supporting tour. His philanthropic efforts included performances for the Tsunami Relief Fund and the Live Aid concert in 1985.
Throughout the 1980s, Clapton’s album output continued, with notable collaborations with Phil Collins on “Behind the Sun” (1985) and “August” (1986).
In the 1990s, Eric Clapton faced personal tragedies, including the death of fellow musician Stevie Ray Vaughan and, more devastatingly, the death of his four-year-old son, Conor, in 1991.
This period of grief inspired Clapton to co-write the poignant song “Tears in Heaven” with Will Jennings. At the 35th Annual Grammy Awards in 1993, Clapton received six Grammys for “Tears in Heaven” and his Unplugged album, showcasing a live performance at Bray Film.
In 1994, Eric Clapton was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in her New Year’s Honours List for his contributions to British life.
In 1998, he founded the Crossroads Centre in Antigua to help people overcome addictions. He actively manages and fundraises for it.
Eric Clapton was honored with the Commander of the Order of the British Empire, or CBE, in a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace on 3 November 2004.
The honor was bestowed upon him by Princess Anne, the Princess Royal. The announcement was made by Queen Elizabeth II on 31 December 2003, as part of the 2004 New Year’s Honours List.
Eric Clapton was born in Surrey, England, on the 30th day of March 1945 to his Mother Patricia and Father Edward Walter. Patricia gave birth to Eric at the age of sixteen, which was very early. This made her parent take up Eric and take care of him.
From an early age, Eric thought of his mother as his sister and his grandparents as his parents. Soon after Eric was born, his father, Edward Walter, a Quebec soldier, was drafted into the military.
When Eric was still an infant, his mother, Patricia, married another soldier and left for Germany afterward. Eric’s father came to Canada after the war, but he wasn’t around when Eric was growing up.
A couple of years later, on Eric’s 13th birthday, he received his first guitar, but he gave up playing it after a few months because he found it impossible to master.
He picked up the instrument again when he was about fifteen years old, and this became his means of livelihood.
Eric completed his education at Holly Field School in 1961. He later enrolled at Kingston College of Art after high school but was expelled for being only focused on music. After expulsion from college, he occasionally began performing, and his first public show was with Dave Brock.
Personal Life and Relationship
Throughout his career, Eric Clapton has been in a number of high-profile relationships. He dated the actress and model Charlotte Martin in the late 1960s, who served as the inspiration for the song “Layla.”
In the early 1970s, he was also romantically associated with musician and songwriter Joni Mitchell.
Later on, Eric got to know Pattie Boyd, who was married to George Harrison, the father of Dhani Harrison and the famed Beatles guitarist.
He began writing love letters to Pattie right away after falling in love. In 1977, Pattie decided to divorce George and began a relationship with Eric.
Eric wed Pattie Boyd in 1979 after two years. Pattie and Eric struggled to conceive and attempted a variety of reproductive treatments, but nothing seemed to work.
Following several miscarriages, Eric began having extramarital affairs. He had an affair with AIR Studios Montserrat’s manager, Yvonne Kelly, and they both had a daughter, Ruth Kelly Clapton, in 1985.
In 1986, Eric Clapton had a second relationship with Italian model Lory Del Santo and gave birth to a boy named Conor. Due to his adultery and his violent behavior resulting from his drunkenness, Eric and Pattie decided to file for divorce in 1989.
In 1999, Eric was married to Melia McEnery, a young 22-year-old administrative assistant. They had three daughters together named Julie Rose, Ella May, and Sophie Belle.
Over the years, Clapton has had multiple children. One of his children, Conor, who was born in 1986 to Italian actress Lory Del Santo, sadly passed away in 1991 at the age of four following a window fall in a New York City high-rise apartment building.
Clapton was deeply affected by the death of his son and used music as a way to express his sorrow, creating the song “Tears in Heaven” in memory of his son.
Eric Clapton’s life is a great example of succeeding despite facing many challenges. He did well even though he got kicked out of school, lost close friends, struggled with drugs and relationships, and went through the difficult experience of his son’s early death. When he talks about his success, Eric doesn’t think he deserves credit for it. Surprisingly, he sees his son’s death as a blessing, a four-year period that had a big impact on him. Additionally, his Christian faith was like a strong anchor that helped him get through the toughest times.