Eric Clapton facts: Guitarist's age, wife, children, net worth and more revealed

5 March 2021, 09:56 | Updated: 8 February 2022, 17:04

Eric Clapton
Picture: PA

Eric Clapton is one of the world's greatest guitarists and singer-songwriters.

From his time with bands such as Cream and Derek and the Dominoes to his successful solo career, Eric Clapton has been one of the most influential musicians of his generation.

Here are all the big facts about Eric Clapton that all fans should know...

  1. How old is Eric Clapton and where is he from?

    Eric Clapton was born on March 30, 1945. He celebrated his 75th birthday in 2020.

    He was born in Ripley, Surrey. His parents were 16-year-old Patricia Molly Clapton (1929-1999) and Edward Walter Fryer (1920-1985), a 25-year-old soldier from Montreal, Quebec.

    Fryer shipped off to war before Eric's birth and then returned to Canada.

    Eric grew up believing that his grandmother Rose, and her second husband, Jack Clapp, Patricia's stepfather, were his parents, and that his mother was actually his older sister.

  2. Who is Eric Clapton's wife?

    Eric Clapton and wife Melia McEnery in 2007
    Eric Clapton and wife Melia McEnery in 2007. Picture: Getty

    Clapton married Pattie Boyd in 1979. She had previously been married to Clapton's friend George Harrison from 1966 to 1977. Clapton's songs 'Layla' and 'Wonderful Tonight' were inspired by her. They divorced in 1988.

    He married his second wife Melia McEnery in a small church ceremony in January 2002.

    Melia was born in 1976, and is 31 years younger than Eric. She works as a Senior Clinical Adviser for Crossroads Centre Antigua. They met at a party in 1999 when Eric was 53 and Melia was 22.

  3. How many children does Eric Clapton have?

    Eric Clapton with daughter Ruth in 2003
    Eric Clapton with daughter Ruth in 2003. Picture: Getty

    In 1984, Clapton began a relationship with Yvonne Kelly, the manager of AIR Studios Montserrat. Although both were married to other people at the time, they had a daughter in 1985. She was named Ruth Kelly Clapton, but she was kept from the public until the media realised she was his child in 1991.

    Clapton and Boyd tried unsuccessfully to have children, and tried in vitro fertilisation in 1984, but had several miscarriages.

    Clapton had an affair with Italian model Lory Del Santo, who gave birth to their son, Conor, in 1986.

    Conor died in 1991 at the age of four, after falling out of an open bedroom window on the 53rd floor of a Manhattan apartment building. The song 'Tears in Heaven' was inspired by this tragedy.

    Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven (Official Video)

    He and Melia have three daughters: Julie Rose (born 2001), Ella May (born 2003) and Sophie Belle (born 2005).

    His grandson Isaac Eric Owen Bartlett was born in 2013 to his oldest daughter Ruth.

  4. Which bands was Eric Clapton in?

    Yardbirds With Eric Clapton (middle)
    Yardbirds With Eric Clapton (middle). Picture: Getty

    Clapton was a member of blues rock band The Yardbirds from 1963 to 1965.

    In the mid-1960s, Clapton left the Yardbirds to play with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Immediately after leaving them, he formed the power trio Cream with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce.

    After Cream broke up, he formed blues rock band Blind Faith with Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech.

    Read more: Eric Clapton's greatest songs ever

    Blind Faith split after less than seven months, and he soon toured as a sideman for Delaney and Bonnie and Friends.

    Clapton then created a new band composed of Delaney and Bonnie's former rhythm section, Bobby Whitlock as keyboardist and singer, Carl Radle as the bassist, and drummer Jim Gordon, with Clapton playing guitar. The band was originally called 'Eric Clapton and Friends'. The name 'Derek and the Dominos' happened by accident when their temporary name of 'Del and the Dynamos' was misread as Derek and the Dominos.

  5. Is Eric Clapton going deaf?

    Clapton has said that he suffers from deafness, and that he also struggles to strum the guitar. However, he hasn't announced any plans to retire.

    He said that he was rather anxious about performing "proficiently" at his Hyde Park gig in summer 2018, due to suffering from tinnitus, a ringing noise from inside the ear.

    "I am still going to work. I am going to do a show at Hyde Park in July," he told the BBC. "The only thing I am concerned with now is I am going deaf, I've got tinnitus, my hands just about work. I mean, I am hoping people will come along and see me, me more than I am a curiosity."I know that is part of it, because it's amazing to myself that I am still here.

  6. What is Eric Clapton's net worth?

    Eric Clapton is estimated to have a net worth of around $250 million (£190 million).