TRIBUTES have been paid to music legend and former Cream guitarist Jack Bruce, who had died aged 71.

Bruce was one third of shortlived but highly influential Sixties group Cream with Ginger Baker and Eric Clapton.

He died on Saturday from liver disease at home in Bures surrounded by his family.

His family said: “It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our beloved Jack: Husband, father, grand-dad, 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’s death was announced on his official website, and was confirmed by his publicist Claire Singers.

Former bandmate Baker, 75, described him as a one-off.

He said: “I found out when my daughter phoned me and my first reaction was it was a hoax because I have been reported dead so many times myself, but then it became reality.

“It was quite a while since I last spoke to him, but he was a one-off, his approach to music made him special.

“My feeling is with his wife Margrit and his kids.”

Bruce had lived on the Essex- Suffolk border since 1986, and also bought a house in Colchester nine years ago.

His daughter, Natascha, studied at Colchester Sixth Form College and was in the Colchester Youth Orchestra. She is a singer-songwriter.

His son Jack plays drums and has attended Saturday jam sessions at Colchester Institute.

Bruce was a supporter of the local music scence. Eight years ago he opened Music Warehouse in Colchester town centre, and three years ago, he was a judge at a battle of the bands contest in Braintree.