Why Bruce Springsteen Doesn’t Like Being Called ‘The Boss’

Bruce Springsteen has been a major name in the music industry since the 1970s. His Jersey Shore roots, his E Street Band, and his moniker The Boss are known around the world. Why is he called The Boss? Let’s take a nostalgic look at the man and the origin of his famous title.

Bruce Springsteen | Images/Getty Images

Bruce Springsteen’s working class roots

In his book, Born to Run, Springsteen describes his working-class roots on the Jersey Shore. His early life was dominated by the Roman Catholic Church, Italian-Americans, and Irish-Americans when describing his neighborhood, his family, and his first impressions of life.

Springsteen states when Elvis Presley arrived on the scene, he watched The Ed Sullivan Show and felt that a “Big Bang” had taken place that would change the course of life in the country. After The Beatles and the British invasion arrived, Springsteen learned how to play the guitar. The rest is music history.

“Born to Run”

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How Bruce Springsteen became known as ‘The Boss’

Biography.com reports that Springsteen started out playing various gigs with different bands in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Through this experience, he met the band mates that would ultimately form the E Street Band. After performances, Springsteen would collect the money due to the band. He would then split up the amount and distribute the money equally between band members. Because of this, the other musicians began to refer to him as The Boss. The name stuck as he gained popularity. However, according to Grunge, Springsteen actually hates the title. He has said, “I hate bosses. I hate being called the boss.”

Bruce Springsteen obtains commercial success

Springsteen released his album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. in 1973. The album featured work from the E Street Band. Later, The E Street Band would see many changes in the lineup of musicians.

“Born in the U.S.A.”

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Springsteen released his third album, Born to Run in 1975. It was his first major commercial success. He had been recording for 14 months at that point. After Born to Run, Springsteen released three more albums including Born in the U.S.A. in 1984 which sold more than 15 million copies. From this album, he scored 7 top 10 singles. Born in the U.S.A. is one of the top selling albums of all time.

Bruce Springsteen is honored by President Barack Obama

Rolling Stone reports that in 2016, Springsteen was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom given by President Barack Obama. President Obama personally selected the recipients who were awarded the highest civilian honor that can be given. The Presidential Medal of Honor is bestowed upon those who have furthered “the security or national interest of the United States, to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Obama said Springsteen “defined American values.” Specifically, “The stories he has told, in lyrics and epic live concert performances, have helped shape American music and have challenged us to realize the American dream.” Despite Springsteen’s personal feelings about his title, it seems he definitely is The Boss.