Cream drummer and co-founder Ginger Baker dies aged 80

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Ginger Baker, the drummer and co-founder of rock band Cream, has died at the age of 80.

His daughter confirmed that the musician, real name Peter Baker, passed away peacefully.

On behalf of his family, a tweet from Baker’s official Twitter account said: “We are very sad to say that Ginger has passed away peacefully in hospital this morning. Thank you to everyone for your kind words over the past weeks.”

The sad news comes weeks after the family informed fans that he was critically ill.

A tweet from 26 September read: “The Baker family are sad to announce that Ginger is critically ill in hospital. Please keep him in your prayers tonight”.

The musician had suffered from a number of health issues in recent years.

In 2013, Baker revealed he had undergone chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from years of heavy smoking, and chronic back pain from degenerative osteoarthritis.

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Image: Ginger Baker, pictured in 2015, has died at the age of 80

In 2016 it was reported he was recovering from open heart surgery, but had also suffered a bad fall which caused swollen legs and feet.

The rocker earned a reputation as “rock’s first superstar drummer” during the 1960s and he is credited as a pioneer of drumming in genres including jazz fusion and world music.

Cream band members Eric Clapton (L), Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce in 1967

Image: Cream band members Eric Clapton (L), Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce in 1967

He began playing the drums aged 15 and was soon noted for his ground-breaking drumming technique and his showmanship.

Baker founded Cream with Eric Clapton in 1966, and despite the pair clashing often, the band forced global sales success and a lasting musical legacy.

The group, which also included Jack Bruce, drove a change in rock music which later influenced the likes of Led Zeppelin and other artists.

Baker performed lengthy drum solos, most notably in the Cream song Toad, which was one of the earliest recorded examples in rock music.

Fans have paid tribute to Baker on social media following the news of his death.

One person tweeted: “RIP #gingerbaker an incredible drummer with a notorious temper, presumed indestructible..”

Another said: “Rest well and thank you for all the incredible pioneering drumming #GingerBaker”.

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