Springsteen was born in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1949.
Springsteen had been inspired to take up music at the age of seven after seeing Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show.
In 1965, he went to the house of Tex and Marion Vinyard, who sponsored young bands in town. They helped him become the lead guitarist of The Castiles, and later lead singer of the group. The Castiles recorded two original songs at a public recording studio in Brick Township, New Jersey and played a variety of venues.
From 1969 through early 1971, Springsteen performed around New Jersey with guitarist Steve Van Zandt, organist Danny Federici and drummer Vini Lopez in a band called Child, later renamed Steel Mill. They went on to play the mid-Atlantic college circuit, and also briefly in California. During this time Springsteen also performed regularly at small clubs in Asbury Park and along the Jersey Shore, quickly gathering a cult following.
Springsteen signed a record deal with Columbia Records in 1972, with the help of John Hammond, who had signed Bob Dylan to the same record label a decade earlier. Springsteen brought many of his New Jersey-based colleagues into the studio with him, thus forming the E Street Band (although it would not be formally named as such for a couple more years). His debut album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., released in January 1973, established him as a critical favorite.
In September 1973 his second album, The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle was released, again to critical acclaim but no commercial success. Springsteen's songs became grander in form and scope, with the E Street Band providing a less folky, more R&B vibe and the lyrics often romanticizing teenage street life.
With the release of Born to Run on August 25, 1975, Springsteen finally found success: while there were no real hit singles, "Born to Run", "Thunder Road", "Tenth Avenue Freeze-out" and "Jungleland" all received massive radio airplay.
By the late 1970s, Springsteen had earned a reputation in the pop world as a songwriter whose material could provide hits for other bands. Manfred Mann's Earth Band had achieved a U.S. number one pop hit with a heavily rearranged version of Greetings' "Blinded by the Light" in early 1977. Patti Smith reached number 13 with her take on Springsteen's unreleased "Because the Night".
Springsteen continued to consolidate his thematic focus on working-class life with the double album The River in 1980, which finally yielded his first hit Top Ten single as a performer, "Hungry Heart".
Springsteen probably is best known for his album Born in the U.S.A. (1984), which sold 15 million copies in the U.S. alone and became one of the best-selling albums of all time with seven singles hitting the top 10, and the massively successful world tour that followed it.
Springsteen's most recent album, entitled Magic, was released on October 2, 2007. Recorded with the E Street Band, it featured ten new announced Springsteen songs plus "Long Walk Home," performed once with the Sessions band.