Tragedy Inspires Eric Clapton's 'Tears in Heaven'
In 1991, following the death of his son, Conor, Eric Clapton collaborated with songwriter Will Jennings to write "Tears in Heaven." The song is a memorial to Conor, who at four years old, fell 50 stories to his death from a New York City apartment building. Horribly affected by the death of his son, Clapton went into reclusion for several months before returning to work on the soundtrack to the film Rush. Clapton recruited Jennings to help him finish the song for the soundtrack.
The song is one of Clapton's most famous, having reached the number two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1992. Later that same year, Clapton released Unplugged, his performance recorded for the MTV series of the same name. His acoustic version of "Tears in Heaven" garnered the song further attention and accolade. In 1993, Clapton won six Grammies, including Record and Song of the Year for "Tears in Heaven" and Album of the Year for Unplugged.
Clapton no longer plays "Tears in Heaven" live, having stated that he has moved past the emotional distress that inspired the song.