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No musical artist has captured the zeitgeist of America in the late 20th and early 21st centuries quite like Bruce Springsteen. Sure, he’s had a couple of terrible albums (we’re looking at you, Working on a Dream), but by and large, he’s been nothing but successful since debuting in the 1970s. Let’s take a photo tour of American icon Bruce Springsteen’s life, from the early years to the heights he reached later in his career.

We’ll discuss the one way he started a musical trend (No. 13), his sometimes troubled love life (the nation’s highest civilian honor,), and his most valuable body part (No. 21).

1. Where it all started

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen baby photo. | Bruce Springsteen via Instagram

Photo date: Sept. 23, 1949

Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen was born in Long Branch, New Jersey, Sept. 23, 1949. His parents, Douglas and Adele, couldn’t wait to show start documenting their first child’s life; they took baby photos the same day he was born. He was born in Long Branch, but he grew up in Freehold, New Jersey.

Next: Tough at home.