Paul McCartney honours Bruce Springsteen at 2024 Ivor Novello Awards: “He’s never worked a day in his life”

Paul McCartney honoured Bruce Springsteen by presenting him with the Ivor Novello Awards’ biggest prize yesterday (May 23).

The Boss became the first international songwriter to receive the Fellow of the Ivors Academy at Grosvenor House in London, following in the footsteps of Elton John, Kate Bush, Annie Lennox and McCartney himself who previously received the same award 20 years ago.

Presenting the prize, McCartney who brought Springsteen onstage along with Dave Grohl during his headline slot at Glastonbury in 2022, jokingly said: “Like Bruce’s concerts, I’m going to keep this brief,” referencing the Boss’ three hour plus concerts, before adding that he “couldn’t think of a more fitting” recipient “except maybe Bob Dylan, or Paul Simon, or Billy Joel, or Beyoncé, or Taylor Swift. The list goes on.”

He continued: “He’s known as the American working man but he admits he’s never worked a day in his life.”

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Accepting the award, Springsteen hugged the former Beatle and referenced his “long and wonderful history” in the UK, thanking the “extraordinary” fans who have been with him since his first show in Hammersmith some 50 years ago.

Paul McCartney performs with Bruce Springsteen as he headlines the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2022. CREDIT: Samir Hussein/Getty Images

He also spoke about his show the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, the night before (May 22).

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Springsteen said: “We came out last night, and I was like, ‘What is this weather? Driving rain, wind roaring But standing in front of me, in the rain, I realised: These are my people.

“Some of them are young, some of them are children, and some of them… wore lines on their faces, of lives hard-weathered and well-lived. Those are my people here in the UK. People I have written for and about, and then I can still find them standing in front of me.”

He went on to say that performing for his fans “remains one of the greatest privileges and honours of my life as a musician”.

The Boss added: “I want to thank you for taking my music into your hearts and into your souls. I want to thank you for including me in the challenging and beautiful cultural life in the UK.”

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During the ceremony he also played ‘Thunder Road’. Elsewhere, RAYE, was crowned Songwriter of the Year for having “the voice of a generation” as described by the judges,  while Yussef Dayes landed a win for Best Album for his record ‘Black Classical Music’.

Other winners included Lana Del Rey (Special International Award) and KT Tunstall (Outstanding Song Collection Award).

Elsewhere, The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria recently announced that he is starting his own Bruce Springsteen tribute band, named Hank Azaria & The EZ Street Band.

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