Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949), nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band. Springsteen is widely known for his brand of heartland rock, poetic lyrics, and Americana sentiments centered on his native New Jersey.
Springsteen's recordings have included both commercially accessible rock albums and more somber folk-oriented works. His most successful studio albums, Born in the USA. and Born To Run, showcase a talent for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily American life; he has sold more than 65 million albums in the United States and 120 million worldwideand he has earned numerous awards for his work, including 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him as the 23rd greatest artist of all time in its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Bruce Springsteen was born on September 23, 1949 in Long Branch, New Jersey. His father is of Dutch and Irish ancestry and his mother is of Italian ancestry. He has two younger sisters, Virginia and Pamela. He went to the St. Rose of Lima Catholic School in Freehold Borough, where he rejected most of the Christian scripture he was taught. He later transferred to a public school, but found no friends and spent all his time playing guitar. He skipped his own graduation ceremony, and attended Ocean County College briefly before dropping out.
Career history[edit | edit source]
1960-1980[edit | edit source]
At thirteen, Springsteen got his first guitar from his mother, and it cost $18. In 1965, he became the lead guitarist and singer of a youth band in town, called the Castiles, which was sponsored by Tex and Marion Vinyard.
When called for induction at age eighteen, to go to Vietnam, he failed the physical examination due to a concussion he suffered a year prior, along with his "crazy" behaviors which made him unfit for combat. He was thankful for this because he was determined not to go to war.
He earned his name "The Boss", because at the end of a gig, he would always be in charge of distributing the band's pay among the members. He also performed with the bang Steel Mill, and still considers them "unknown talent".
In the early 1970s he began putting together the members of what would become the E Street Band, which included pianist David Sancious, and Southside Johnny Lyron on harmonica. Columbia Records scout John Hammond, who also signed Bob Dylan to Columbia Records, auditioned Springsteen in 1972, and he signed his contract the same year. He became more famous in the 1970s as he worked with Columbia Records, specifically for his hit song Blinded By The Light. This featured in his debut album, Greetings from Ashbury Park, NJ. The album stood the test of time after it's sale was slow over a vast time period up until his Born in The USA tour. The coastal New Jersean town of Ashbury Park, was one of the places that inspired Bruce Springsteen's music.
1980-2000[edit | edit source]
His album, Born To Run, in particular, helped garner a fan base for him, as well as his subsequent albums, including Darkness on the Edge of Town, No Nukes, which inspired the documentary No Nukes.
The River, a double album with twenty songs, following the plight of the working-class community, was released in 1980 and made way for Hungry Heart, a single on the album which became Bruce Springsteen's first Top Ten Single. This song changed the course of Springsteen's music, taking it away from folk and more toward pop-rock.
Born In The USA was released in 1984 although it had been recorded many years earlier by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. This particular song gave Bruce Springsteen a much greater mainstream following, although not everyone was aware that his song was about the bitter treatment of Vietnam War vets, not about pride of being American. In 1987 he released his new album Tunnel of Love, which was partially based on the breakup of his marriage from Julianne Phillips.
Bruce Springsteen famously won a Grammy award for his song w:c:lyrics:Bruce_Springsteen:Streets_Of_Philadelphia in 1994.
2000-Present[edit | edit source]
In more recent years, Bruce Springsteen has become a legend, and has released famous albums such as The Risingin 2002, and Devils & Dust in 2005. He also released the album, Magic in 2007, which was recorded with the E Street Band.
His album Working on a Dream was released in 2009. His seventeenth studio album, Wrecking Ball is set to be released on March 6, 2012. The main theme of this album will be, according to Springsteen, economic injustice. He will also be going on a world tour called the Wrecking Ball Tour and it will go through at least July 31, 2012, and it will include 51 dates.
Musical style[edit | edit source]
Earlier in his musical career, Bruce Springsteen's musical style focused more heavily on blues and folk. However, after 1984, it swerved to more of a pop-rock sound, and Springsteen tells us that Wrecking Ball, in 2012 will have a more electronic sound. His themes have always included left-wing politics, the working class, New Jersey (his native state), and political injustices. He has focused on nuclear disarmament, 9/11 and the current economic recession.
Personal life[edit | edit source]
Bruce Springsteen was married to Julianne Phillips from 1984 to 1988. The marriage broke up after Bruce's affair with Patti Scialfa, and the divorce was finalized in 1989.
Bruce later married Scialfa in 1991 after Scialfa gave birth to their first child in 1990. They had two more children in 1991 and 1994. He and his family live in New Jersey.
Awards and recognition[edit | edit source]
- Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, 1984,Dancing in the Dark
- Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, 1987, Tunnel Of Love
- Song of the Year, 1994, Streets of Philadelphia
- Best Rock Song, 1994, Streets of Philadelphia
- Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo, 1994, Streets of Philadelphia
- Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television, 1994, Streets of Philadelphia
- Best Contemporary Folk Album, 1996, The Ghost of Tom Joad
- Best Rock Album, 2002, The Rising
- Best Rock Song, 2002, The Rising
- Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, 2002 The Rising
- Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, 2003, "Disorder in the House" (with Warren Zevon)
- Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, 2004, Code of Silence
- Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, 2005, "Devils & Dust"
- Best Traditional Folk Album, 2006, The Seeger Sessions: We Shall Overcome
- Best Long Form Music Video, 2006, Wings For Wheels: The Making Of Born to Run
- Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, 2007, "Radio Nowhere"
- Best Rock Song, 2007 Radio Nowhere
- Best Rock Instrumental Performance, 2007 Once Upon a Time In The West
- Best Rock Song, 2008 Girls In Their Summer Clothes
- Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, 2009, Working on a Dream