Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. He has released twenty studio albums, many of which feature his backing band, the E Street Band. Originally from the Jersey Shore, he is one of the originators of the heartland rock style of music, combining mainstream rock musical style with narrative songs about working class American life. During a career that has spanned five decades, Springsteen has become known for his poetic, socially conscious lyrics and energetic stage performances, sometimes lasting up to four hours in length. He has been nicknamed “the Boss“.
While he received critical acclaim for his first two albums, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (both 1973), Springsteen failed to find a mainstream audience with his Dylanesque folk rock style. Threatened to be dropped by his label unless sales improved, he changed up his style and reached worldwide popularity with his third album, Born to Run, released in 1975. Legal battles with his management following the success of Born To Run kept Springsteen out of the studio for three years; the 1978 follow-up album Darkness on the Edge of Town features much darker lyrical themes, and has been assessed as one of the most critically lauded of his albums. The three year gap had given Springsteen enough time to write dozens of new songs, several of which were held over for his 1980 double album The River, which would be his first album to reach the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart. Changing gears in 1982, he released a solo album of demo recordings, Nebraska, without the E Street Band.
Springsteen has released a number of well known songs that have been mainstays on mainstream rock and classic rock stations. Among these are “Born to Run” (1975), “Thunder Road” (1975), “Badlands” (1978), “Hungry Heart” (1980), “The River” (1980), “Atlantic City” (1982), “Dancing in the Dark” (1984), “I’m on Fire” (1984), “Glory Days” (1984), “Brilliant Disguise” (1987), “Human Touch” (1992), “Streets of Philadelphia” (1994), “The Rising” (2002), and “We Take Care of Our Own” (2012).
Among the album era’s prominent acts, Springsteen has sold more than 150 million records worldwide and more than 64 million albums in the United States, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. He has earned numerous awards for his work, including 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, and a Special Tony Award (for Springsteen on Broadway). Springsteen was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009, was named MusiCares person of the year in 2013, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2016. He is ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone’s list of the Greatest Artists of All Time.
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