Awarded by the Woody Guthrie Center, the annual award is given to an artist of any medium who best exemplifies the “spirit and work” of the leading solo singer to serve as a “ champion for the voiceless who have an understanding of how to use a platform. shine a light on our world, show what needs to be fixed and how to fix it. ”
Guthrie has long been one of Springsteen’s greatest influences. Boss’s 1995 song, “The Ghost of Tom Joad”, was inspired by Guthrie’s “The Ballad of Tom Joad,” and he also covered songs like “This Land is Your Land”, “I Ain’t Got No Home ”, and“ Blowin ’Down The Road” while live performances.
“I am honored to receive the 2021 Woody Guthrie Prize,” Springsteen said in a statement. “Woody has written some of the most famous songs about America’s struggle to live out its values in convincing fashion. He is one of my most important influences and inspirations.”
Woody Guthrie Center Director Deana McCloud praised Springsteen for “her lifelong speaking out for the powerless and inspiring a generation to find power in their own voices. McCloud added, “As an observer of the human condition and a reporter on the condition of the masses, Bruce Springsteen is a real son of Woody Guthrie.”
Since Pete Seeger was first awarded in 2014, the Woody Guthrie Prize has been given to artists such as Mavis Staples, Chuck D, and Joan Baez.
Check out “The Ghost of Tom Joad” below.