Bruce Springsteen has been chosen as the 2021 recipient of the Woody Guthrie Prize, and will be presented with the prestigious honor during a virtual event scheduled for Thursday, May 13.
The award is presented annually by the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Woody Guthrie Center to an artist whose work reflects that of the late folk musician, who wrote with compassion about the struggles of common men and women and championed human rights.
“I’m honored to receive the 2021 Woody Guthrie Prize,” Springsteen says in a statement. “Woody wrote some of the greatest songs about America’s struggle to live up its ideals in convincing fashion. He is one of my most important influences and inspirations.”
Bruce has long acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence on his own songwriting, and in 2009, The Boss historically performed Woody’s enduring song “This Land Is Your Land” with folk legend Pete Seeger at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C.
“As an observer of the human condition and a reporter about the plight of common people, Bruce Springsteen is a true child of Woody Guthrie,” says Woody Guthrie Center director Deana McCloud. “The Woody Guthrie Center is proud to present Bruce with this well-deserved recognition for his lifetime of speaking for the disenfranchised and inspiring generations to find the power of their own voices.”
Adds Woody’s daughter, Nora Guthrie, “We’ve been hoping that Bruce would join our extended family…as we gather this year to say ‘thank you for caring and for speaking out.’ Welcome, brother!”
The streaming presentation will be viewable by Woody Guthrie Center members. Visit WoodyGuthrieCenter.org for info about becoming a member.
Previous Woody Guthrie Prize recipients include John Mellencamp, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Mavis Staples, Public Enemy‘s Chuck D and the late Seeger.
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