Simon & SchusterOver the years, Bruce Springsteen shared many parts of his life story in the form of the dozens of deeply personal, confessional songs he’s released. But in 2016, the Boss gave fans an in-depth look at his journey to becoming one of the music world’s most respected singer/songwriters in a self-penned memoir that shares a title with his signature song, Born to Run.
In the book, which was released in September, Springsteen opens up about dysfunctional family, how he developed his passion for rock ‘n’ roll and his drive to make it as a musician, his approach to songwriting, his struggles with depression and so much more.
Born to Run topped The New York Times‘ Best Sellers List for Hardcover Nonfiction books, and Bruce supported it with a series of in-store meet-and-greet events across the country.
— Springsteen also issued an audio companion to Born to Run titled Chapter and Verse, a career-spanning collection featuring a mix of classic tunes and lesser-known songs, each reflecting the themes and sections of the memoir. The album, which reached #5 on the Billboard 200, boasts five previously unreleased tracks from Springsteen’s early career, including 1966’s “Baby I,” the first song he ever recorded with his band The Castiles.
— Shortly before Born to Run hit stores, Springsteen and the E Street Band wound down the hugely successful The River Tour 2016. In November, the trek won the Top Tour prize at the 2016 Billboard Touring Awards as the top-grossing outing of the year. A number of shows during the tour’s fall leg ran for over four hours, becoming the longest concerts Bruce has ever played in the U.S.
— Earlier in the tour, Springsteen canceled a scheduled April concert in Greensboro, North Carolina, in protest over that state’s HB2 law, legislation that many people consider discriminatory against the LGBT community.
— As the year wound down, Springsteen was among the notables who were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor, by President Obama at a November 22 ceremony held at the White House.
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