Paul McCartney Hilariously Roasts Pal Bruce Springsteen While Presenting Award

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Paul McCartney was on fire Thursday night when it came to razzing his friend and fellow music legend Bruce Springsteen.

The former Beatles singer presented the New Jersey rocker with an Academy Fellowship at the 2024 Ivor Novello Awards in London. The fellowship is the highest honor from England’s Ivors Academy, and Springsteen, born in the USA, is the first international artist to win it.

“Unlike Bruce’s concerts, I’m going to keep this brief,” McCartney said in his introduction, before blaming Springsteen’s famously long shows for making multihour performances the norm.

Paul McCartney, left, and Bruce Springsteen perform at England's Glastonbury Festival in June 2022.
Paul McCartney, left, and Bruce Springsteen perform at England's Glastonbury Festival in June 2022. Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty Images

Per a transcript of his speech from New Musical Express, McCartney added that he couldn’t think of a “more fitting person” to be the first international fellowship winner, “except maybe Bob Dylan, or Paul Simon, or Billy Joel, or Beyoncé, or Taylor Swift. The list goes on.”

McCartney then mulled over how Springsteen would have fit in with the Fab Four. He concluded, “When it comes to talent, he was definitely in the Top Five.”

The “Silly Love Songs” singer switched to a more sincere mode, calling Springsteen and his wife, musician Patti Scialfa, “the best hosts” and describing cozy nights by a fire at their place in New Jersey. But the Liverpudlian couldn’t resist getting in one last jab at his pal.

“He’s a lovely boy, he’s known as being the American working man you know? But he admits, he’s never worked a day in his life,” McCartney said.

Springsteen seemed to have no problem with the ribbing, and hugged McCartney as he came out for his acceptance speech. Springsteen’s voice was hoarse after, yes, a three-hour show the night before.

The performance also took place during a rainstorm, which the “Thunder Road” singer said only made him appreciate his fans more.

“We came out last night, and I was like, ‘What is this weather? Driving rain, wind roaring,’” he recalled in his acceptance speech. “But standing in front of me, in the rain, I realized: These are my people.”