for those who didn't tune into the kennedy center honors tonight, there was an absolutely amazing tribute paid to bruce springsteen. as one of the five honorees -- the others being robert deniro, mel brooks, dave brubeck, and grace bumbery -- springsteen was described by president obama as "the quiet kid from jersey who grew up to become the rock 'n' roll laureate of a generation.... i'm the president but he's the boss."
after a touching introduction by jon stewart, music legends -- eddie vedder, ben harper, john mellencamp, sting and melissa etheridge -- took to the stage to further honor bruce springsteen's work. mellencamp performed "born in the u.s.a.," dedicating it to the soldiers in iraq and afgnanistan; ben harper covered "my fathers house;" jennifer nettles (from the band sugarland) performed "glory days;" then the two collaborated on the classic "i'm on fire." this was followed with etheridge's cover of "born to run" and vedder's acoustic version of "my city of ruins," for which he was accompanied by a gospel choir. finally, sting, along with another, larger, choir, performed a rousing version of "ths rising" that brought the entire audience to their feet.
bruce springsteen definitely deserved the high praises he received tonight. his music has always, and always will, stand for something important; it tells the stories that are seldom told and it speaks to the masses in a way that not much music can.