Bruce Springsteen performs at 2nd annual American Music Honors

The second annual American Music Honors, hosted by the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center For American Music at Monmouth University, took place in New Jersey on Wednesday, with The Boss on hand to induct one of this year’s honorees, John Mellencamp.

“Seymour, Indiana, is the birthplace of our next honoree, and I have been there and I can tell you it is a small town,” Springsteen shared, according to the Asbury Park Press. “His eye for the details of working-class life in the belly of the country has been flawless and unforgiving.”

He noted of Mellencamp’s songs, “[H]e’s captured and remained true to an unflinching vision of a country at war with itself, a country caught between its hard realities and better angels.”

Mellencamp took the stage to perform an acoustic version of “Jack and Diane,” but later in the night, Springsteen honored him by performing his take on Mellencamp’s classic “Small Town,” with the Indiana rocker joining him.

This year’s other honorees included Jackson Browne, who performed “Running on Empty” and “Take It Easy”; Mavis Staples, who performed “Come Go With Me”; and Dion DiMucci, who performed “King of New York Streets” and “The Wanderer.”

The night ended with Springsteen returning to the stage, backed by the house band, Steven Van Zandt’s Disciples of Soul, to perform “Glory Days” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out.” Staples and the other acts also performed the gospel hymn “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”

The first American Music Honors event was held in 2023. Van Zandt, Sam and Dave‘s Sam Moore, Darlene Love and Steve Earle were the honorees.

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