It was an accident that rocked the music world and beyond. On March 20, 1991, Eric Clapton suffered an unthinkable tragedy that could have been prevented.
Conor Clapton was only four years old when he fell out of an open window on the 53rd floor of a New York City high-rise. Eric, who arrived at the scene after the accident, was absolutely devastated. In the years to come, he helped raise awareness for childproofing windows and staircases.
Many people know that Eric Clapton wrote “Tears In Heaven” about the grief and loss of losing his beloved son. The emotional ballad became his best-selling single in the United States, and it’s no wonder why — the song continues to evoke pain and sadness, even upon repeat listens.
What many people don’t know, however, is that just after Eric Clapton attended Conor’s funeral in 1991, he received a stunning letter…
Eric Clapton and Italian model Lori del Santo welcomed baby Conor into the world on August 21, 1986.
At the time, Eric was struggling with alcohol addiction, but it was his desire to be a good dad that helped him get sober. According to Ultimate Class Rock, Eric told 60 Minutes,
“When he was born, I was drinking and he was really the chief reason that I went back to treatment because I really did love this boy,” he recalled. “I thought, ‘I know he’s a little baby, but he can see what I’m doing, and I’m tired of this.’”
On March 19, 1991, Eric Clapton took Conor to the circus. It turned out to be one of the most special days they’d ever spend together as father and son.
Tragedy struck the following day.
For mere seconds, Conor was left unattended in a New York City high-rise condo. He fell out of an open window from the 53rd floor and was killed on impact. The devastating news made headlines around the world, and threw Eric into a tailspin.
Shortly after the funeral, Eric received a letter written by Conor, telling him how much he loved and missed him whenever he was away.
That year, Eric Clapton wrote “Tears In Heaven,” a gut-wrenching ballad about the pain of losing Conor. It went on to become his best-selling single in the United States and one of the best-selling pop singles of the 1990s.
He also began raising awareness for childproofing windows and staircases.
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