Paul McCartney roasts Bruce Springsteen at London awards ceremony

Paul McCartney roasts Bruce Springsteen at London awards ceremony
  • PublishedMay 25, 2024

Bruce Springsteen
 became the first international songwriter to be awarded a fellowship of the Ivors Academy in its 80-year history – but he had to put up with some ribbing from one of his most famous peers first.

At the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony at Grosvenor House in London Thursday night, Springsteen was inducted into the fellowship by Paul McCartney, who was the academy’s first-ever fellow.

The ceremony wasn’t broadcast, but the BBC reported the former Beatle as telling the audience he “couldn’t think of a more fitting” recipient of the fellowship – “except maybe Bob Dylan … Or Paul Simon, or Billy Joel, or Beyoncé, or Taylor Swift.”

“When it comes to talent, he’d definitely be in the top five,” he added, imagining how Springsteen would have fit into the Beatles.

“He’s known as the American working man, you know?” a clip of the ceremony posted to social media showed McCartney saying. “But he admits he’s never worked a day in his life.”

“He’s a lovely, lovely boy,” he also said of the American musician.

The fellowship is the highest honor bestowed by the organization, which is the United Kingdom’s professional association for songwriters and composers.

“There is no one more fitting than Bruce Springsteen to be the first international songwriter inducted into our Fellowship,” Tom Gray, chair of the academy, said in a press release.

“Songwriters are powerful storytellers, who capture our lives, loves and hardships. Bruce has always told the greatest stories.”

Springsteen was met with a standing ovation, social media video of the ceremony showed, and he accepted the honor in a hoarse voice, which he attributed to an evening spent singing in the quintessentially British rain.

“I’m gonna sound really weird up here because I sang in the rain, all night last night,” he said in a speech.

He thanked his British fans and audiences, as well as musicians and artists in the UK for giving him inspiration.

“Their depth of knowledge of my work and their dedication constantly keeps me invested here, keeps me coming back to these shores,” said Springsteen of his fans. “So that I can dig deeper, and so that I can deal more faithfully with my audience’s joys and concerns.”

Springsteen rounded off his speech with a performance of his 1975 hit “Thunder Road” – considered by Rolling Stone to be one of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Other honorees at this year’s Ivors included Lana Del Rey, Skepta, KT Tunstall and Raye.


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