bruce springsteen The Boss Turns 62 Today

(Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images)

Happy Birthday to the one and only [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bruce Springsteen[/lastfm]!!!

And to honor The Boss on his big day, Jack FM is proudly wearing our 1984 Born in the U.S.A. tour t-shirt.

So what if it’s a little tight?!

In 1974, music critic Jon Landau said, “I saw rock and roll’s future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen.”  Truer words have never been spoken.

With a career spanning four decades, Bruce Springsteen has accomplished what most only dream of.  He has sold over 120 million albums worldwide, 65 million in the U.S. alone.  He’s won 20 Grammy Awards, 2 Golden Globes and an Oscar.  He was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriters Hall of Fame.  He’s received a Kennedy Center honor and is ranked at #23 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.  Not too bad for the boy from Jersey.

At the age of 7, Bruce Springsteen was inspired to pursue music after seeing [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Elvis Presley[/lastfm] on The Ed Sullivan Show.  His mom bought him his first six-string, and as a teenager, teachers described him as a “loner who wanted nothing more than to play his own guitar.”

After high school, Bruce played in several local bands and toured.  He quickly developed a loyal following, and in 1972 signed a deal with Columbia Records.  His debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., was released a year later.  Although the album was a favorite among critics, it sold poorly.

Bruce Springsteen’s big breakthrough came in 1975 with the release of Born to Run.  The album was an immediate success, peaking at #3 on the Billboard 200 and producing such hits as the title track and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.”

Suddenly, Bruce was everywhere.  He appeared on the covers of both Time and Newsweek in the same week and embarked on an extensive U.S. tour.  His star continued to rise in the late ’70s as he penned hits for other artists like [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Manfred Mann’s Earth Band[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Patti Smith[/lastfm] and the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Pointer Sisters[/lastfm].  But The Boss’ biggest success was yet to come.

In 1984, Bruce Springsteen released his seventh album, Born in the U.S.A.  With its blue-collar lyrics, radio-friendly sound and memorable cover, the album was a huge hit among fans everywhere.  Born in the U.S.A. spent four weeks at #1 and sold over 15 million copies, becoming one of the most successful albums in rock history.  It also spawned a record-tying seven Top 10 singles:  “Dancing in the Dark,” “Cover Me,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “I’m On Fire,” “Glory Days,” “I’m Going Down” and “My Hometown.”  When “Dancing in the Dark” was released as a single, the B-side was the song, “Pink Cadillac.”  Although it was scratched from the Born in the U.S.A. album, it became quite popular on its own and was a fan favorite at concerts.  “Pink Cadillac,” which became a Top 10 hit for [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Natalie Cole[/lastfm] in 1988, is Jack’s Song of the Day.

Bruce Springsteen’s commercial success continued with his next two releases:  Live/1975-85 and Tunnel of Love.  But as the ’80s wound down, things began changing for Bruce.  In ’89, he disbanded the E Street Band, and after his 3-year marriage to actress Julianne Phillips fell apart, he wed backup singer [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Patti Scialfa[/lastfm] and moved to L.A.

The ’90s were full of ups and downs, and Bruce himself described these years as his “lost period.”  He released four albums during this time, but none came close to matching the commercial success of his previous efforts.  Bruce did, however, win an Oscar in 1994 for his song, “Streets of Philadelphia,” from the film Philadelphia.  Five years later, things were once again on the upswing.  Bruce moved his family back to New Jersey, and he reunited the E Street Band for a successful tour that included a string of sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

In 2002, Bruce Springsteen triumphantly returned to the top of the charts with the critically-acclaimed The Rising.  It sold 520,000 copies in its first week and became Bruce’s best-selling album of new material in nearly 15 years.  The Rising was also named Best Rock Album of the Year at the Grammys.

Since then, Bruce has continued gracing the world with his music.  His most recent release was 2010’s The Promise.  The album peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200 and is, sadly, the last one to feature E Street Band saxophonist [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Clarence Clemons[/lastfm], who passed away unexpectedly this summer.

Bruce Springsteen is said to be currently working on his 18th studio album.

Check out this live performance of “Because the Night.”  This is how you do it, Patti Smith.

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