The inaugural American Music Honors took place in New Jersey this weekend, but it was missing two of its big stars.
Variety reports the event, a fundraiser for the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music at Monmouth University, went on as planned April 15, although Springsteen and wife Patti Scialfa had to miss it after testing positive for COVID-19. Springsteen, wrapped the first leg of his tour with a show at Newark’s Prudential Center on April 14, did appear via video to celebrate this year’s honorees.
“It broke our hearts around 6 a.m. this morning when I got a call that two of the most important people who were supposed to be here, Bruce Springsteen and Patti Scialfa, unfortunately came down with COVID,” Bob Santelli, the Archives’ executive director, told the disappointed crowd. Host Jon Stewart later joked, “They’re alive. Don’t overreact. You can still see them in concert. They’re home sitting by the fire eating French onion soup.”
The inaugural award show honored E Street Band guitarist Steve Van Zandt, Sam & Dave‘s Sam Moore, Darlene Love and Steve Earle for their musical contributions. The night’s house band, the Disciples of Soul, performed a medley of tunes, including Love’s “A Fine, Fine Boy,” the Sam & Dave hit “Soul Sister, Brown Sugar,” Earle’s “Hard-Core Troubadour” and Van Zandt’s “I Am a Patriot.”
The artists themselves also performed, with Earle singing “Copperhead Road,” Love performing “River Deep Mountain High,” Moore performing “I Thank You,” and Van Zandt performing “Bitter Fruit.” The night ended with all four honorees onstage for a jam that included “It’s Been a Long Time,” “Hungry Heart,” “Soul Man,” “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” and “I Don’t Want to Go Home.”
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