Bruce Springsteen (born Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen, 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 commercially accessible rock albums and somber folk-oriented works. He is known for putting on electrifying live performances that routinely last more than three hours.
He debuted in 1973 with “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.,” selling roughly 25,000 copies in the first year of its release. Both “Blinded by the Light” and “Spirit in the Night” were released as singles by Columbia, but neither made a dent on the U.S. charts. This would be his first in a string of ten consecutive platinum selling albums.
In 1973 he followed with the release of, “The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle,” featuring the as-yet-unnamed E Street Band. The album included the song “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),” the band's most-used set-closing song for the first 10 years of its career.
“Born to Run,” released in 1975, was his first to reach the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 Albums chart, peaking at #3. Two hit singles were released from the album, “Born to Run” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out,” which helped Springsteen to reach mainstream popularity. The tracks “Thunder Road” and “Jungleland” became staples of album-oriented rock radio and Springsteen concert high points.
A legal battle with former manager Mike Appel kept Springsteen out of the studio for nearly a year, during which time he kept the E Street Band together through extensive touring across the U.S. Reaching settlement with Appel in 1977, Springsteen returned to the studio, and the subsequent sessions produced 1978’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” Although the album did not produce high charting singles it nevertheless remained on the charts for 97 weeks, peaking at #3 in the U.S.
1980’s “The River,” a double album, was his first to hit #1 on the Billboard 200. “Hungry Heart” was Springsteen's first Billboard Hot 100 singles chart Top 10 hit single, reaching #5. Sparsely-recorded on a cassette-tape Portastudio, the tracks on 1982’s “Nebraska” were originally intended as demos of songs to be recorded with the E Street Band. However, Springsteen ultimately decided to release the demos themselves.
His next release, “Born in the U.S.A.,” was the best-selling album of 1985 in the United States (and also Springsteen's most successful album). The album produced a record-tying string of seven Top 10 singles, tied for the most for an album in history, including the #1 hit “Dancing in the Dark,” “My Hometown,” I'm on Fire,” “Born in the U.S.A. ,” “Glory Days,” “I'm Goin' Down,” and “Cover Me.” The album eventually was certified 15x platinum in 1995 and has sold over 30 million copies worldwide.
He continued atop the charts with 1987’s triple platinum, “Tunnel of Love.” The track, “Brilliant Disguise” became one of his biggest hit singles, peaking at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the title song also making the Top 10.
Springsteen’s next two albums, “Human Touch” and “Lucky Town,” were co-released on the same day in 1992. “Human Touch” was the more popular of the two, peaking at #2 on the Billboard 200, with its single, “Human Touch” (paired with the “Lucky Town” single, “Better Days”) peaking at #1 on the Album Rock Tracks chart and #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Springsteen won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, in 1993 for “Streets of Philadelphia” from the film “Philadelphia.”
Musically and lyrically reminiscent of Springsteen's 1982 critically acclaimed album, “Nebraska,” his 1995 album, “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” reached #11 on the Billboard 200, breaking a string of eight consecutive Top 5 studio albums in the U.S for Springsteen.
He again had a #1 album in 2002 with “The Rising” centered around Springsteen's reflections on the September 11, 2001 attacks. The album also garnered a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2003. Title song, “The Rising,” was also a Grammy nominee and recipient.
“Devils & Dust” debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 in 2005. Springsteen received five Grammy Award nominations for this work. His sole award came for Best Solo Rock Vocal, an award he garnered in previous years for “Code of Silence” and “The Rising.”
2007’s “Magic,” his first with the E Street Band since “The Rising” in 2002, saw him atop the Billboard 200 once again, becoming Springsteen's eighth #1 album in the U.S. 2009’s “Working on a Dream,” would then become his ninth #1 album, while featuring the track, “The Wrestler” which first appeared in 2008 at the 65th Venice International Film Festival debut of the film “The Wrestler.” In December 2008 it received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song and won the award during the 66th Golden Globe Awards in 2009.
Springsteen released “The Promise” in 2010. A double album compilation of previously unreleased songs drawing from the “Darkness on the Edge of Town” sessions, it was his tenth #1 album on the Billboard 200. An eleventh #1 album, “Wrecking Ball,” was issued in 2012, tying him with Elvis Presley for third-most #1 albums of all-time. Only The Beatles with 19 and Jay-Z with 12 have more #1 albums.
Springsteen has earned numerous awards for his work, including 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Academy Award, and continues to have a strong global fan base. He has sold more than 65 million albums in the United States and 120 million worldwide. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999 as well as the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2007. He received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009.