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Bruce Springsteen celebrates his 60th birthday today

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While it may be hard for many people to believe, Bruce Springsteen is 60 years old today and throughout those 60 years, “The Boss” has left a profound effect on the world of music and pop culture. 

While people across the globe love Springsteen, perhaps he is most beloved in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area.  While he has sold over 120 million records worldwide and 19 Grammy Awards, Bruce Springsteen is a Jersey Boy with a Philly Soul. 

In recent years, “The Boss” has gained publicity as one of the most outspoken “Liberal Activists” in the media.  A strong supporter of Senator John Kerry and President Barack Obama, Springsteen has also gained a great deal of recognition for support and rebuilding efforts in New Jersey and elsewhere and gave an epic response to the September 11th 2001 tragedy on his album “The Rising.” 

While he may be a megastar and a multi-millionaire today, the road to success was not an easy one for Springsteen.  “The Boss” had a hard-time fitting in as a youth.  A graduate of Freehold Regional High School in Freehold, New Jersey, Springsteen did not enjoy his high school years and went so far as to not attend his own school graduation.  To battle the social inadequacies and the frustration of not fitting in, Springsteen turned to music and this relationship would change the face of history as we know it. 

While the Springsteen family was far from rich, Bruce’s mother made a tremendous sacrifice for “The Boss” when he was 16 years old and bought him a $60 Kent Guitar.  To pay for the guitar, Mrs. Springsteen would have to take out a loan and this incredible gesture influenced Bruce a great deal.  One day he would write a song about this monumental event entitled “The Wish” and Springsteen and his mother have always had a very close bond. 

Breaking into the music industry was no small task.  In 1972, with the help of John Hammond, Springsteen signed a record deal with Columbia Records, which was the same label that had signed Bob Dylan a decade earlier.  At that time, Springsteen had a reputation as wanting to be Bob Dylan but this label was clearly shed throughout the course of time.  Needing an edge in his quest for success, Springsteen brought many of his New Jersey based friends who were also trying to break into the music industry and formed a band which would eventually be known as the historic E Street Band.   

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band would have a major breakthrough on August 13, 1975 when they began a five-night, 10-show stand at New York’s Bottom Line club which attracted major attention and convinced any critics who had doubted Springsteen that he and his band were here to stay.  The broadcast which was delivered live on WNEW-FM would later be called by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the 50 moments that changed rock and roll and this would lead to the release of the album “Born to Run on August 25, 1975 and while none of the singles on the album obtained major chart-success, songs such as “Thunder Road” received a massive amount of airtime and are considered pioneer songs of classic rock stations until this day.   

In 1984, Springsteen broke into the world of commercial success with the hit album “Born in the U.S.A.” which sold over 15 million copies in the U.S. alone and became one of the best-selling albums of all-time with seven singles reaching the top ten on the Billboard Charts and was a prelude to a highly successful world tour. 

In 1987 Springsteen released “Tunnel of Love” which spoke of his unhappiness in his personal life and this touched a chord with a new audience who once saw him as a rocker and were now influenced by powerful lyrics that touched the heart of soul of all.   

The 90’s would present the dawning of a new day as Bruce “Went Hollywood” and moved to Los Angeles, which was a radical move for a man whom had built his career as the voice of blue-collar life in New Jersey.  While the albums did obtain some fanfare, many Springsteen fans, who were there from the beginning were turned off.  Whatever fans may have lost love for “The Boss”, such love was found again in 2002. 

In 2002, Springsteen released “The Rising” which was his first studio effort with the full E Band in over 18 years.  “The Rising” focused on the September 11th attacks and would lead Bruce into the mainstream once again while touching upon his roots.  After this historic album, Springsteen would propel into the political scene with the back of Senator John Kerry and President Obama in both of their presidential campaigns.  Springsteen is now considered the face of the Democratic Party by many who follow Pop Culture. 

Throughout time, there is perhaps no artist whom has defined himself in so-many different ways.  The lyrics of Bruce Springsteen have always been powerful, as has his message.  Bruce Springsteen is truly a New Jersey Boy with a Philadelphia Soul and we wish him a happy 60th birthday.