Cream, Blind Faith Drummer Ginger Baker 'Critically Ill,' His Family Says

Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion Perform In Berlin

Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion Perform In Berlin

Legendary rock drummer Ginger Baker is "critically ill" in the hospital, according to his family, who also asked for "prayers" for the musician.

Baker, 80, is best known for his work with fellow virtuosos Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce in the late-'60s blues-rock supergroup Cream.

After Cream broke up, Baker followed Clapton to form the short-lived group Blind Faith with Steve Winwood. When that band dissolved, Baker moved to Lagos to play with Afrobeat visionary Fela Kuti.

For the majority of his post-Cream career, Baker focused on playing jazz with the occasional return to rock and roll, like with Hawkwind and John Lydon's Public Image Ltd band and a series of Cream reunion concerts with Clapton and Bruce. He also released a number of solo albums, including 2014's Why?

Rolling Stone named Baker the No. 3 greatest drummer of all-time in its 2016 list.

Baker has suffered a number of health setbacks in recent years. In 2013, he revealed an "extremely painful" degenerative form of osteoarthritis and pulmonary disease which he contracted from smoking. In 2016, Baker underwent open-heart surgery following a bad fall.

In addition to his brilliance at the drums, Baker is infamous for his temper, which was among the qualities chronicled in the 2012 documentary Beware of Mr. Baker.

Photo: Getty Images

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