Clapton rocketed to fame in the 1960s as the guitarist for the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and Cream. Clapton eased into a solo career in 1970, but he was so reticent to step to the front of the stage he adopted the pseudonym Derek & the Dominos for the album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. By the end of the '70s, he had finally embraced his role as the preeminent guitarist of his generation. That sensitive side shone on his biggest hit, 1992's MTV Unplugged, which also reconnected him with the blues roots upon which his entire career lay.
Clapton produced a string of albums, including Slowhand (1977), Backless (1978), Money and Cigarettes (1983), August (1986), Unplugged (1992)—which featured the chart hit “Tears in Heaven,” written after the death of his son—and From the Cradle (1994). At the 1993 Grammy Awards ceremony, “Tears in Heaven” won for both song and record of the year, and Unplugged was named album of the year. Clapton also explored his musical influences with a pair of Grammy-winning collaborations: Riding with the King (2000) with blues legend B.B. King and The Road to Escondido (2006) with roots guitarist J.J. Cale. The critical and commercial success of these albums solidified his stature as one of the world’s greatest rock musicians, and subsequent releases, such as Clapton (2010), Old Sock (2013), and I Still Do (2016), finely captured his leisurely late-career form.