100 Greatest Singers

36

Bruce Springsteen

Gershoff/Retna

Born September 23rd, 1949
Key Tracks "Thunder Road," "

Born in the U.S.A.," "Girls in Their Summer Clothes"
Influenced Eddie Vedder, Jon Bon Jovi, Brandon Flowers, Win Butler

"When Bruce Springsteen does those wordless wails, like at the end of 'Jungleland,' that's the definition of rock & roll to me," says Melissa Etheridge. "He uses his whole body when he sings, and he puts out this enormous amount of force and emotion and passion." Springsteen has used numerous vocal approaches over the past four decades: soul shouting, Roy Orbison belting, Elvis-style crooning, country-folk drawling, garage-rock hollering. "He finds the emotional drama in the characters in his songs," says Etheridge. "When he sings 'The River,' he's going to break your heart." When Bono inducted Springsteen into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, he said Springsteen's voice sounded as "if Van Morrison could ride a Harley-Davidson."

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