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Steve Winwood has paid a touching tribute to his late Blind Faith bandmate Ginger Baker.

The 80-year-old Cream drummer died "peacefully" in hospital on Sunday morning (06.10.19), and the 'Higher Love' hitmaker - who made up the supergroup with Ginger, Eric Clapton and Ric Grech - has paid his respects to the legendary musician, who he hailed for his "inimitable style of playing".

Steve - who was later a member of Ginger's Air Force band, who formed in 1969 following the disbandment of Blind Faith - admitted that despite his "somewhat abrasive exterior", the 'White Room' sticksman was actually "a very sensitive human being with a heart of gold".

In a statement posted on his website, the 71-year-old star said: "A very sad loss, and my condolences to his family and friends.

A loss also for his contribution to music.

"He was well-grounded in jazz from very early on, and later managed to combine this with African and rock music to create his own inimitable style of playing.

I was lucky to play with him in Ginger Baker's Air Force, and to meet and work with such luminaries as Phil Seamen, Harold McNair and Graham Bond.

"And also in Blind Faith with Eric Clapton and Rick Grech.

"Although his appointment was very unorthodox (he showed up on the doorstep and said, 'Here I am') - he made a great contribution to the Blind Faith album which has withstood the test of time.

"Beneath his somewhat abrasive exterior, there was a very sensitive human being with a heart of gold.

"He'll be missed."

The likes of Sir Paul McCartney, filmmaker Edgar Wright, Brian Wilson and Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp have paid tribute to the music legend since his death was confirmed by his family.

Beatles legend McCartney led the tributes to Ginger, writing: "Ginger Baker, great drummer, wild and lovely guy. We worked together on the 'Band on the Run' album in his ARC Studio, Lagos, Nigeria. Sad to hear that he died but the memories never will. X Paul (sic)"

Whilst Edgar said: "RIP the music giant that was Ginger Baker. The beat behind too many favourite songs from Cream, The Graham Bond Organisation and Alexis Corner's Blues Incorporated. (sic)"

And Gary wrote: "RIP the great Ginger Baker. The reason so many drummers wanted a double-bass drum. #GingerBaker (sic)"

Ginger's family wrote on Sunday (06.10.19): "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."

On September 25, it was announced via social media that Ginger was "critically ill" in hospital.

The family said in a statement at the time: "Ginger is critically ill in hospital. Please keep him in your prayers tonight."

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