Legendary Cream Bassist Jack Bruce Dead At 71

  • Jack Bruce

  • Jack Bruce

  • Jack Bruce

  • Jack Bruce

  • Jack Bruce

  • Jack Bruce

  • Jack Bruce

  • Jack Bruce

  • Jack Bruce

  • Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce, best known as the bassist and singer for rock icons Cream alongside Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, died as his home in Suffolk, England today at the age of 71. His death was confirmed by his family via Facebook earlier this morning. “It is with great sadness that we, Jack’s family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend,” the statement read. “The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts.”

Bruce cut his musical teeth in the early sixties playing for influential British bands like Alexis Korner’s Blues Inc, John Mayall’s Blues Breakers, and Manfred Mann before teaming up with Clapton and Baker in 1966 to form Cream. The band was dubbed the first “supergroup” due to the musical notoriety of its members, and together they ushered in a new age of mega-amplified blues and paved the way for powerhouse trios like the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

Although together only two years, Cream sold 35 million albums during that time and earned the first RIAA certified platinum disc for 1968’s Wheels Of Fire. Bruce sang lead on the majority of their songs, and penned some of their biggest hits, including “I Feel Free” and “Sunshine Of Your Love.” In addition to writing, his work in this era cemented his status as one of the greatest bass players in rock history. The group split in November 1968 at the zenith of their success, and Bruce embarked on a successful and creatively varied solo career starting with 1969’s Songs For A Tailor.

Cream were inducted into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993, and most recently reunited in 2005 for a series of shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York City’s Madison Square Garden. His former bandmate Ginger Baker expressed his sadness on his Facebook page today, grieving “the loss of a fine man.”

“My thoughts & wishes are with his family at this difficult time.”

VH1 Music Editor + Seltzer Enthusiast
@jordanruntagh