Legendary CREAM drummer Ginger Baker has died earlier today (October 6) at a hospital in the United Kingdom. He was 80 years old.
“Dad passed away peacefully,” his daughter Nettie Baker told CNN in a statement. “He was in no pain and had recently been able to see and speak to his children, close family and special friends.”
His work in the 1960s earned him the reputation of “rock’s first superstar drummer”, while his individual style melded a jazz background with African rhythms. He is credited as having been a pioneer of drumming in such genres as jazz fusion and world music.
Baker‘s drumming is regarded for its style, showmanship, and use of two bass drums instead of the conventional one. In his early days, he performed lengthy drum solos, most notably in the CREAM song “Toad,” one of the earliest recorded examples in rock music. Baker was an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of CREAM, of the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 2008, and of the Classic Drummer Hall of Fame in 2016.