Jack Bruce (left), Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker perform at Madison Square Garden on October 25, 2005 in a Cream reunion concert
London (AFP) - Jack Bruce, a founding member of British psychedelic band Cream, died on Saturday aged 71 after a long battle against liver disease, his family announced.
Although an accomplished songwriter, Bruce was best known as vocalist and bass guitarist alongside Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker in the 1960s supergroup.
"It is with great sadness that we, Jack's family, announce the passing of our beloved Jack: husband, father, granddad, and all round legend," said a family statement.
"The world of music will be a poorer place without him but he lives on in his music and forever in our hearts."
Tony Iommi, guitarist with heavy rockers Black Sabbath called Bruce "a major influence in music and an amazing bass player and singer" while Whitesnake's Bernie Marsden told the BBC that Bruce was "a true legend".
"That word gets banded about sometimes but Jack Bruce was certainly in that kind of sphere," he said.
Publicist Claire Singers confirmed that Bruce had died at his home in Suffolk, south east England, on Saturday.
Bruce was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, on May 14, 1943 and learned to play the bass in his teens.
He left the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, where he was studying cello and musical composition, after they banned him from playing jazz.
Cream formed in 1966 and went on to sell 35 million records worldwide before splitting up two years later.
Bruce co-wrote most of the band's biggest hits, including "Sunshine of Your Love" and "I Feel Free".
He later worked with Frank Zappa and Lou Reed and was a member of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band, but suffered health problems after being diagnosed with liver cancer in 2003. He received an organ transplant in the same year.