McCartney Imagines Springsteen as a Beatle

American star became 27th songwriting fellow in London ceremony
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 27, 2024 7:43 AM CDT
Updated May 23, 2024 6:50 PM CDT
Ivors Academy Breaks Mold in Honoring Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen plays his guitar as Jake Clemons plays saxophone onstage on March 19 in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
UPDATE May 23, 2024 6:50 PM CDT

Paul McCartney took advantage of Bruce Springsteen's weakened voice—earned in performing a three-hour concert in the rain the night before—to pay the American mocking tribute Thursday in London. The event was the Ivor Novello Awards, where McCartney presented him with a fellowship of the songwriting academy, per the BBC. "He's known as the American working man," McCartney said, "but he admits he's never worked a day in his life." McCartney told the crowd he'd tried to imagine how Springsteen would have worked in his old band, the Beatles, and decided, "When it comes to talent, he'd definitely be in the top five." Springsteen repaid the welcome with what the BBC called "a croaky version of 'Thunder Road.'"

Mar 27, 2024 7:43 AM CDT

Bruce Springsteen is the first international songwriter to be named a fellow of the Ivors Academy, the UK's professional association of music creators. The American icon was announced as the next recipient of the 80-year-old academy's highest honor on Tuesday, the AP reports, in recognition of the impact his career has had on the cultural landscape of the UK. Over a half-century, the "Born to Run" musician has sold more than 140 million records worldwide—from his 1973 debut Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ to 2020's Only the Strong Survive. Honors he's received along the way include 20 Grammys, an Oscar, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Springsteen, 74, said he was proud of the honor in a statement released by the academy. "In addition to recognizing my songwriting, the award stands as a tribute to the fans and friends who have supported me and my work for the last fifty years. This entire country has made me feel welcome every step of the way, and for this, I will always remain deeply appreciative," he said. The announcement comes a week after Springsteen's return to the stage with the E Street Band in Phoenix for a nearly three-hour set. He had announced in September he was pausing his tour, citing doctor's advice as he recovered from peptic ulcer disease.

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He'll receive his newest award at a ceremony at Grovesnor House in London on May 23. Springsteen becomes the 27th Fellow of the Academy, joining previously inducted songwriting icons such as Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Joan Armatrading, and Sting. While he will be the sole songwriter to hail from outside Britain, the fellowship also includes American composer John Adams and French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez. (The announcement also is posted on Springsteen's site.)

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