After a year of sold-out shows, Bruce Springsteen On Broadway will close on December 15, and the same night it will debut on Netflix as a film. The show features Springsteen, solo, playing guitar and piano, performing his music and telling stories about his life.
Springsteen’s most successful studio albums, Born To Run (1975) and Born In The U.S.A. (1984) find pleasures in the struggles of daily American life. He has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, making him one of the bestselling artists of all time. He has earned 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, an Academy Award, a Tony Award (maybe an Emmy Award next year?). He was inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2009, Springsteen was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient in 2013, and in 2016 was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Springsteen won his Oscar for the song Streets Of Philadelphia written for the film Philadelphia (1993) with Tom Hanks, one of the first mainstream films dealing with HIV/AIDS. The song was a hit around the globe. It won a Grammy Award for Song Of The Year, Best Rock Song, Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance, and Best Song Written For A Motion Picture. Springsteen:
The bonus I got out of writing Streets Of Philadelphia was that all of a sudden I could go out and meet some gay man somewhere and he wouldn’t be afraid to talk to me and say: ‘Hey, that song really meant something to me’. My image had always been very heterosexual, very straight. So it was a nice experience for me, a chance to clarify my own feelings about gay and lesbian civil rights.
Springsteen was one of the first celebrities to be vocal in his support of Marriage Equality:
I’ve long believed in and have always spoken out for the rights of same-sex couples. The Marriage Equality issue should be recognized for what it truly is, a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law.
I urge those who support equal treatment for our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to let their voices be heard now.
In 2016, Springsteen canceled the North Carolina concerts on his tour to protest that state’s passage of a controversial bill that prevents transgender people from using the public restroom for the gender with which they identify, and also negated all local ordinances that provided protection from discrimination to gay and transgender people.
Springsteen was one of the biggest names in entertainment to boycott the state. He released this statement:
As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the ‘bathroom’ law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry, which is happening as I write, is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.