Bruce Springsteen was the guest of honor at the 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year benefit, which featured an eclectic mix of artists – including Neil Young, Elton John, Jim James, Mumford & Sons and Mavis Staples – covering classics from the New Jersey icon’s massive songbook. A televised version of the event, “A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen,” will premiere December 5th at 9 p.m. ET on PBS, as part of the network’s Arts Fall Festival 2014.
The Jon Stewart-hosted benefit features Young performing the Springsteen staple “Born in the U.S.A.,” Elton John handling “Streets of Philadelphia” and Tom Morello and Jim James teaming up for a duet of “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”
Other tributes include Mumford & Sons’ version of “I’m on Fire,” Patti Smith’s “Because the Night” (a song co-written by Smith and Springsteen), John Legend’s piano-driven take on “Dancing in the Dark,” Alabama Shakes’ intense interpretation of “Adam Raised a Cain” and a collaborative “My City of Ruins” from Zac Brown Band and Mavis Staples. To close the concert, Springsteen takes the stage with the E Street Band for “Thunder Road” and “Born to Run,” and the all-star performers all join in for a grand finale.
In early November, Springsteen participated in the Stand Up for Heroes charity event in New York City, performing an unplugged five-song set of classic tunes. Since the benefit also featured some of the world’s top-billed stand-up comedians, the singer-songwriter also unleashed a few punchlines of his own. “On the New Jersey Turnpike the other night, a truck was hijacked by a group of thieves,” he cracked at one point. “The truck was full of Viagra. The New Jersey state police are now looking for a group of hardened criminals.”