Jack Bruce, former Cream man, dies aged 71 The singer, bassist and songwriter of the original supergroup had suffered liver disease
Jack Bruce ... Performing in Glasgow in 2012. Photograph: Ross Gilmore/Redferns
Jack Bruce, best known as one third of Cream, has died of liver disease. In a statement issued by his family on Saturday, his family said: ““It is with great sadness that we, Jack's family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend. The world of music will be a poorer place without him but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts.” Bruce played bass, sang and was the principal songwriter in Cream, but even leaving aside that group, in which he played with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker, his CV reads like a comprehensive guide to the British blues boom, with spells in Alexis Korner's Blues Inc, the Graham Bond Organisation, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Manfred Mann. Following the demise of Cream in 1968, Bruce worked mainly as a solo artist or as part of small groups. Cream reunited briefly in 2005 for a short series of shows, but soon split again. The animus between Baker and Bruce, which had made Cream so combustible in the 60s, and had caused Bruce to leave the Graham Bond Organization even before then, appeared to make any further Cream activity unworkable. The irony was that both had achieved their greatest commercial success together: not only were Cream hugely successful, but the album the two released with guitarist Gary Moore as BBM in 1994 saw them make a rare return to the top 10, it being as near to Cream as fans thought they would ever see. Bruce's life had been marked by health and financial troubles. In the late 1970s he struggled with drug addiction, and worked as a session musician to make money. In 2003 he was diagnosed with liver cancer, and that September he underwent a transplant. His body initially rejected the new liver, and Bruce almost died, but he recovered well enough to return to performance in 2004.