Bruce Springsteen Honors the Late Pete Seeger


Bruce Springsteen was among the many artists paying tribute to the late Pete Seeger on Tuesday (January 28), following the folk icon's death the previous day at the age of 94.

On stage with his E Street Band in Cape Town, South Africa, Springsteen told the crowd that, "I lost a great friend and a hero last night" as part of a dual tribute to Seeger and the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.

Springsteen called Seeger "a very courageous freedom fighter" before dedicating a version of the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" to both men.

"Once you heard this song, you were prepared to march into hell's fire," Springsteen noted. Earlier in the day Springsteen posted his performance at Seeger's 90th birthday concert during 2009 at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Springsteen recorded "We Shall Overcome" for the 1997 tribute album Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger, while Springsteen's own We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions album won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in 1997.

Springsteen and Seeger also sang together at U.S. President Barak Obama's first inauguration in 2009.

Tom Morello, who's currently playing in the E Street Band, issued his own tribute to Seeger as well, posting the singer's "uncompromising badass" testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives' Un-American Activities Committee.

John Mellencamp, meanwhile, issued a statement:

"Pete Seeger always tried to make the world a better place through his music and activism.  His life-long commitment to the cause of peace and to addressing the plight of the downtrodden has been an inspiration to all those who have championed society's victims and have done what they could to combat injustice.  His music and commitment was more powerful than a thousand armies.  We are fortunate that he lit the way for so long.  Pete once gave me a bit of advice, and I've always tried to remember what he said:  'Keep it small and you will make a difference.'"