Ginger Baker, Drummer of Cream, Passes Away at 80

October 6, 2019
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Ginger Baker, the drumming force behind Cream has passed away on Sunday, October 6th, 2019 after an extended time in the hospital at the age of 80.

"We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully in the hospital this morning," Baker's family wrote on his social media. "Thank you to everyone for your kind words over the past weeks."

Baker had received a handful of health issues in recent years. In 2013 Baker stated that smoking had resulted in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, while degenerative osteoarthritis and chronic back pain made drumming even more difficult. In 2016 a fall left Baker with swollen legs and feet, and he also underwent open heart surgery in the same year.

Ginger Baker was born in 1939 in Lewisham, South London. His first big musical opportunity came when he founded Cream with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce in 1966 where they issued hits like "White Room", "Sunshine of Your Love" and "Crossroads." However, the band's longevity was brief yet rewarding. Over the course of only two years, the trio released four albums together. In 1993, Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Grammys rewarded them with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.

Following the band's split, Baker founded Ginger Baker's Air Force and recorded 18 solo albums. He also appeared as a guest on albums by Fela Kuti, Public Images LTD, Hawkwind, Masters of Reality, and many more.