Born in Freehold, N.J. on September 23, 1949, Springsteen grew up in a normal, middle-class family, first experimenting with guitar while in high school. Springsteen performed with a succession of small bands. After a tour with the band Chicago that brought attention to Springsteen's captivating live shows, the singer-songwriter returned with his breakthrough 1974 effort Born to Run, which quickly reached the Top 5 thanks to frequent airplay of the title track and "Thunder Road." Born to Run became one of the most praised and purchased albums of the. Suddenly Springsteen changed gears, moving from an artistic, despairing acoustic style to slick pop-oriented, arena rock with 1984's Born in the U.S.A. "The Boss" hit the big time, becoming an international superstar, later releasing a five-album live collection to fight a growing horde of bootleggers who sold live recordings to eager fans world over. 1987's Tunnel of Love marked another change in Bruce's style. Facing marital problems, Springsteen began singing about lost love, emotional turmoil and other adult problems. In fall of 1993 he released "Streets of Philadelphia" for the movie Philadelphia; the song became a Top 10 hit and won several Grammys and an Academy Award.