Bruce Springsteen Tapped for 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year Honor

2012-10 FEA SXSW Bruce Springsteen P

The Boss delivers the keynote address March 15 at the Austin Convention Center. Hours later, Springsteen and his E Street Band will take the stage at an "intimate venue" with a capacity of several hundred.

The Recording Academy's charitable branch will celebrate the 20-time Grammy winner's artistic and philanthropic achievements during a black-tie gala Feb. 8 in Los Angeles.

The rock star who has championed the working man for four decades will be honored for his philanthropy during Grammy Week next year.

The Recording Academy on Thursday tapped Bruce Springsteen is its 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year. The charitable wing of the group that stages the Grammy Awards will honor the Boss with a black-tie gala Feb. 8, two days before the 55th annual Grammys in Los Angeles.

Springsteen, 62, joins a musical A-list of recipients of the award including Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Neil Young and, last year, Paul McCartney. David Crosby was the first honoree in 1991.

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"Bruce Springsteen is a truly gifted and Renaissance artist of our time, a national treasure and an exemplary humanitarian," Recording Academy president and CEO Neil Portnow said in announcing the award, which also recognizes artistic achievement. "His career is a testament to the power of creative excellence, and his contributions as a philanthropist speak to the tenacity of the human spirit."

Along with making a career of celebrating the everyman and spotlighting any number of societal issues, Springsteen has a long history of social conscience and activism. For decades he has taken time during his concerts to promote such organizations as food banks and veterans groups and encouraged them set up information tables inside the venues. He also has supported steelworkers, cancer research, voter turnout and myriad causes including Amnesty International and the No Nukes campaign.

"Bruce is synonymous with artistic independence and a passion for causes that are close to his heart," said Scott Pascucci, chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board. "His career seamlessly combines inspiration and charity, and it's a reminder that we can all do our part to make the world a better place."

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Springsteen has won 20 Grammys during his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career, but the crowning jewel -- album of the year -- has eluded him. In fact, only two of his 17 studio albums have been nominated for the big prize: the global blockbuster Born in the U.S.A., which lost to Lionel Richie’s Can’t Slow Down in 1985, and his 9/11-themed The Rising, an also-ran to Norah Jones’ megaplatinum Come Away With Me in 2003.

The Jersey rocker had a major presence at the 54th Grammys, held Feb. 12 at Staples Center. He and the E Street Band opened the show with the new single “We Take Care of Our Own” and took part in the medley from The Beatles’ Abbey Road that also featured McCartney, Dave Grohl and Joe Walsh. Might his current disc, the acclaimed Wrecking Ball, have a chance to break Springsteen’s album of the year winless streak? If indeed it is nominated, tune in Feb. 10 on CBS to find out.