Eric Clapton is a rock music icon who needs no introduction. The legendary guitarist, who celebrated his 77th birthday this year, hasn’t lost his passion for the blues and rock’n’roll, and his life-long love affair with his music endures with several live performances scheduled this year.1

During his long career, Clapton has been honored with several awards, recognitions, and has amassed a great deal of respect for his contributions in the music industry. Here are five things you should know about Clapton’s career and achievements so far.  

1. Eric Clapton is Nicknamed “slowhand”

Clapton was nicknamed “slowhand” soon after launching his career with the British rock band The Yardbirds in 1963.2 It was the manager of the band, Giorgio Gomelsky, who came up with the nickname because whenever Clapton broke a guitar string during concerts, he would replace it on stage, stay on stage, and the English audiences would usually begin a slow handclap while waiting out the delay. 

In his 2007 autobiography, Clapton – The Autobiography, Eric Clapton recounts how he got the nickname, “On my guitar I used light-gauge guitar strings, with a very thin first string, which made it easier to bend the notes, and it was not uncommon during the most frenetic bits of playing for me to break at least one string. During the pause while I was changing my string, the frenzied audience would often break into a slow handclap, inspiring Giorgio to dream up the nickname of ‘Slowhand’ Clapton.” 

2. Eric Calpton has Played in More Than 3000 concerts 

Clapton has toured for over 50 years, covering 58 countries across six continents. He has played for over two billion people in more than 3,000 concerts so far. His extensive touring experience includes over 200 performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall and more than 50 concerts at Madison Square Garden.3

3. Eric Clapton has Played in 9 Bands

Clapton recorded his first studio album in 1966 with John Mayall’s Blues Breakers and has since released 27 studio albums. After the launch of his professional career with The Yardbirds in 1963, he played with nine bands,4 and his music career kept rising thereafter with every band he was associated with. All nine bands5 that he played with are listed below. 

List of bands that Eric Clapton has played in

  1. The Roosters 
  2. Casey Jones and The Engineers 
  3. The Yardbirds 
  4. John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers 
  5. Cream
  6. Delaney & Bonnie & Friends
  7. Blind Faith
  8. Derek & The Dominos
  9. Legends

4. Eric Clapton has 80 Sales Awards by the Recording Industry Association of America 

After his stint with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Clapton joined the British rock band Cream and received his first sales record in 1968 for the album Disraeli Gears. Since then, Clapton’s albums and songs have received a total of 80 gold, platinum, multi-platinum, and diamond sales awards by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The certifications include singles, albums, digital downloads, and other music formats.6

5. He has won 17 Grammy Awards 

Eric Clapton has been awarded 17 Grammys since 1972, including an honorary lifetime achievement award in 2006. He has won these awards for his solo work and also shared them for collaborations with other artists such as B.B. King, Carlos Santana, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, etc.7

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1. Eric Clapton Announces 2022 U.S. Tour. (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2022, from Eric Clapton Announces 2022 U.S. Tour. (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2022, from
2. How did Eric Clapton get his nickname, Slowhand? (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2022, from
3. Eric Clapton Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2022, from
Studio Recordings by Eric Clapton – How many has he released? (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2022, from
4. Bands – How many has Eric Clapton been a member of? (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2022, from
5. Gold / Platinum / Diamond Record Awards. (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2022, from
6. Grammy Awards – All Awarded To Eric Clapton. (n.d.). Retrieved June 24, 2022, from