The Boss, Bruce Springsteen.
After all, he was Born in the U.S.A.
Springsteen is easily one of the most influential songwriters and performers ever. He's the original Jersey boy. He speaks for all the blue collared people, and writes songs about the things that are important to middle America. Love, jobs, hard work.
Speaking of hard work, it took him well over a decade to climb to fame, and a group he was in during that time is where he earned his nickname. He didn't reach critical success until the mid 70's, with his first hit album Born to Run. The E Street Band has come and gone more than once as part of his tagline.
In 1975, he graced the covers of Time and Newsweek, as the poster boy for rock and roll, almost a decade before he released the album he's most well-known for, Born in the U.S.A.
1984. All of a sudden, this guy in tight jeans and a bandana was everywhere. The title song became an anthem for the country, though a lot of people never really understood that it wasn't about warm fuzzy patriotism at all. It was about being angry at how Vietnam veterans were being treated.
His grizzled, raw voice filled the airwaves, and seven singles off that album hit the Top 10 list. This was the music of my childhood. Here is one of my personal favorites.
He's one of a few artists who has an Academy Award in addition to his other hardware, won for the song Streets of Philadelphia. He has a Golden Globe for his song from The Wrestler.
This year he released Wrecking Ball, which makes him the only other artist aside from Elvis who has ten #1 albums. Still writing, still recording, still touring, still controversial.
Still kicking ass.