It’s easy to understand why Bruce Springsteen‘s nickname is “The Boss” after seeing how much he’s admired by his musical peers.
The 63-year-old rocker was celebrated by the biggest names in music as he accepted MusiCares’ Person of the Year award for his philanthropy and artistry on Friday evening.
Everyone from Elton John to Sting to Mumford & Sons were on hand at the Los Angeles Convention Center to fete Springsteen.
The musician himself was surrounded by family, including wife Patti Scialfa and his mother, Adele Springsteen; A-list names like Sean Penn, J.J. Abrams, Conan O’Brien, Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett and Bonnie Raitt were also in attendance.
He helped to raise over $250,000 for the organization as well during a live auction, asking the crowd to bid on a signed Fender electric guitar. He upped the ante by including a one-hour guitar lesson, a ride on his Harley Davidson, eight concert tickets and backstage passes with a bonus tour conducted by Springsteen himself…as well as a lasagna made by his 87-year-old mother.
“Whatever philanthropy I’ve ever done usually involved playing the guitar,” Springsteen said onstage. “I was going to play the guitar anyway.”
John, Neil Young, Sting, Kenny Chesney, John Legend, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, Patti Smith and Jackson Browne also took the stage to perform his hits.
Alabama Shakes kicked off the program with a mighty Adam Raised a Cain. Tom Morello and Jim James took on Ghost of Tom Joad, Ken Casey of Dropkick Murphys turned American Land punk while Neil Young and Crazy Horse covered Born in the USA.
Natalie Maines and Ben Harper sang Atlantic City with Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica, Zac Brown and Mavis Staples went gospel on My City of Ruins to church, Elton John performed Streets of Philadelphia, Columbia’s Juanes revised Hungry Heart with intermittent Spanish verses, Tim McGraw and wife Faith Hill duetted on Tougher Than the Rest, Mumford & Sons sang I’m on Fire, Kenny Chesney went acoustic on One Step Up, Jackson Brown and Morello collaborated on American Skin (41 Shots), John Legend did a solo version of Dancing in the Dark and Sting took the stage to sing Lonesome Day.
Jon Stewart hosted the evening, saying he willingly decided to do so because Springsteen is “awesome and I love him.”