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Bruce Springsteen

Over his multi-decade career, The Boss has evolved and changed, working in different styles, all the while retaining a passion and integrity that keeps his fans coming back for more and continuing to attract new ones. Most recently in the spotlight for his post-9/11 anthem "The Rising" and the album of the same name, Springsteen carried off numerous Grammys and delivered a riveting performance at the awards ceremony.

Jersey Boy Brooooooce first tried in the early '70s to join the throngs of folk singer/songwriters in New York; failing at this, he returned to Asbury Park, N.J., where he played with various groups, finally hooking up with the E Street Band, which already had a considerable local following. The legendary band -- sax player Clarence Clemons, guitarist Steve Van Zandt (who was later to become Silvio Dante of "The Sopranos"), keyboardist Danny Federici, pianist Roy Bittan, bassist Garry Tallent and drummer Max Weinberg (later the bandleader of "Late Night With Conan O'Brien") -- recorded two albums that were critical successes but commercial flops, although Manfred Mann's Earth Band had a hit with a cover of one of the tracks, "Blinded by the Light." The next album, Born to Run, was another story entirely. Springsteen was discovered by mainstream media, featured concurrently on the covers of Time and Newsweek, hailed as yet another next Dylan, and generally as over-hyped as he had been previously ignored. Both Born to Run and its successor, Darkness on the Edge of Town, were huge hits. In the following years, he'd alternate his E Street Band albums (including the '80s blockbuster Born in the U.S.A., which spawned a two-year international tour and seven hit singles, and sold 10 million copies) with such solo projects as Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad, often heavy with tragic, introspective tales of the heartland. At the end of the '80s he announced his breakup with the E Street Band, but they reunited in the late '90s and have continued to tour and work together on albums, among them 2002's The Rising.

Written by: Mary Eisenhart

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