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Bruce Springsteen was the man of the night at the MusiCares Person of the Year charity concert in Los Angeles last night. The pre-Grammys event is hosted by the Recording Academy to raise money for its MusiCares charity and to honor artists for their charity work.
Before the show, a charity auction was held. The New York Times notes that the highlight of the auction came when a Telecaster guitar came up. Every star at the show signed it and the Academy hoped that it would go for $50,000. However, when no one immediately started bidding, Springsteen himself signed it and yelled, “With this guitar comes one free guitar lesson from me. That’s right. One free lesson. One hour. And a ride in the sidecar of my Harley Davidson. So dig in you one percenters!”
The guitar eventually went to a woman for $250,000. Not only did she win the guitar lesson, but she got a hug from the Boss.
When the time came for Springsteen to accept the award, he called it a “freaky experience,” reports Reuters. He called it the “Italian wedding” he never had with wife Patti Scialfa or a “huge Bar Mitzvah.”
Later, he performed a string of his hits, from “Born To Run” to the new “We Take Care Of Our Own.”
Ben Harper, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, John Legend and Patti Smith were on hand to perform in his honor. Mumford & Sons also performed “I’m On Fire.” Smith sang “Because the Night,” a hit she wrote with Springsteen.
“We don’t have much,” fellow New Jersey native Jon Stewart said about their state. “We are known mostly as the chief exporter in this country of carcinogens. Bruce Springsteen is all we have.”
Paul McCartney, Elton John and Tony Bennett are past recipients of the MusiCares award.
The Academy has not said how much was raised that night yet. The event precedes Sunday’s Grammys on CBS.