R.I.P. Cream's Ginger Baker
The singer-drummer was 80
His family announced the news with the following message on Twitter:
We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully in hospital this morning. Thank you to everyone for your kind words over the past weeks.— Ginger Baker (@GingerBDrums) October 6, 2019
Last month, it was reported that Baker was "critically ill" in hospital. Soon after, his family said that he was "holding his own" while receiving visits from close family members and friends.
Baker has had medical issues stretching back several years. In 2013, the musician revealed that he had been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and he also experienced chronic back pain due to degenerative osteoarthritis. In 2016, Baker cancelled a run of shows to undergo open heart surgery. During his recovery, a fall resulted in swollen legs and feet.
Cream were active for just a couple of years, from 1966 to 1968, but their songs "White Room," "Sunshine of Your Life" and "Crossroads" became staples of classic rock. The trio of Baker, Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce reunited for their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1993, and then got together again for a few shows in 2005.
Post-Cream, Baker and Clapton briefly formed the band Blind Faith. The drummer led his own group called Ginger Baker's Air Force, was a contributor to Hawkwind, and collaborated with Fela Kuti.
Cream bassist Jack Bruce died in 2014. His family posted a tribute to Baker on Twitter:
The Bruce family would like to extend their sincere condolences to Ginger Baker's family, friends and fans. Surviving a love hate relationship, Ginger was like an older brother to Jack, their chemistry was truly spectacular. RIP Ginger, one of the greatest drummers of all time ❤️ pic.twitter.com/G9Pl4Qecdp— Jack Bruce (@jackbrucemusic) October 6, 2019