Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen is an American songwriter, singer and guitarist. He had recorded and toured with the E Street Band. He was widely known for his brand of heartland rock infused with pop hooks, poetic lyrics, and Americana sentiments centered around his native New Jersey. His eloquence in expressing ordinary, everyday problems has earned him numerous awards, including eighteen Grammy Awards and an Academy Award, along with a notoriously dedicated and devoted global fan base. His most famous albums, Born to Run and Born in the USA, epitomize his penchant for finding grandeur in the struggles of daily life. He has sold over 65 million albums in the US.
Springsteen’s lyrics often concern men and women struggling to make ends meet. He has gradually become identified with progressive politics. Springsteen is also noted for his support of various relief and rebuilding efforts in New Jersey and elsewhere, and for his response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, on which his album The Rising reflects. Springsteen’s recordings have tended to alternate between commercially accessible rock albums and somber folk-oriented works. Much of his iconic status stems from the concerts and marathon shows in which he and the E Street Band present intense ballads, rousing anthems, and party rock and roll songs, amongst which Springsteen intersperses long, whimsical or deeply emotional stories. His concerts are the subjects of frequent bootleg recording and trading among fans.
Springsteen has long had the nickname The Boss, a term which he was initially reported to hate but now seems to have come to terms with, as he sometimes jokingly refers to himself as such on stage. The nickname originated when a young Springsteen, playing club gigs with a band in the 1960s, took on the task of collecting the band’s nightly pay and distributing it amongst his bandmates. Springsteen probably is best known for his album Born in the USA, which sold 15 million copies in the US alone and became one of the best-selling albums of all time with sevensingles hitting the top 10, and the massively successful world tour that followed it. The title track was a bitter commentary on the treatment of Vietnam veterans, some of whom were Springsteen’s friends and bandmates. The song was widely misinterpreted as jingoistic, and in connection with the 1984 presidential campaign became the subject of considerable folklore. He also turned down several million dollars offered to use the song in a car commercial.