The Ties That Bind: Bruce Springsteen's 25 Biggest Heroes

The artists, activists and friends that have shaped Springsteen's world

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Harry Chapin
Frank Carroll/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images22/25

Harry Chapin

Best known for the gently reflective folk-rock ballads like "Taxi" and "Cat's in the Cradle," Chapin's music doesn't have much in common with Springsteen's, but his altruistic spirit helped open the latter's eyes to the importance of social activism. Chapin died in 1981 at 38 years old after a car crash, but not before he'd become well-known for his tireless charitable efforts, particularly towards eradicating hunger. Springsteen has performed at multiple Harry Chapin tribute concerts. "Harry knew that it was going to take a lot more than just love to survive," Springsteen has said. "It was going to take a strong sense of purpose, of duty, and a good clear eye on the dirty ways of the world." Springsteen has continued his friend's fight: Throughout his tour in support of 2005's Devils & Dust he donated concert tickets to organizations that could then auction them off to raise money to help support their relief efforts. 

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