Earlier today, Jack Bruce, bassist and singer of blues rock group, Cream, passed away at 71. While the cause of death is still unknown, Bruce reportedly suffered from liver disease. The musician’s family shared the news with his fans via Facebook today.
“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 grieving family wrote. “The world of music will be a poorer place without him, but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts.” The Scottish musician was born on May 14, 1943, and began playing jazz bass as a teen. He chose the latter when given an ultimatum about the future of his music career, which was to either stop playing jazz or leave music school. Bruce met Eric Clapton years later, when they were both members of the blues group John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and found his first taste of commercial success shortly after as a member of the British psychedelic pop group Manfred Mann.
Some of Bruce’s best known works are his contributions as a vocalist and co-songwriter on songs like “Sunshine of Your Love,” “SWLABR,” and “White Room.” Alongside drummer Ginger Baker and guitarist Eric Clapton, he completed what many consider to be the first ever rock “supergroup.” Before their split, in just three years, Cream managed to put out four studio albums, three of which were featured in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of all time. They reunited for a short period in 1993, just in time for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bruce and the band came together again in 2005 and 2006 to perform their final reunion concert and recieve their Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards, respectively.
Outside of the time he served as a key member of Cream, the bassist also contributed to Ringo Starr of the Beatles’ All-Starr Band. In 1968, once the members of Cream officially went their separate ways, Bruce got to work on his own material. He released Songs of a Tailor the following year, and went on to put out 19 more, both live and studio, albums. His most recent release, Silver Rails, debuted this past March.