Tim McGraw Still Admires Bruce Springsteen

I don’t think we’re supposed to call Bruce Springsteen “The Boss” anymore, right? Tim McGraw would probably know the answer to this, seeing as how the two are buddies.

Oh, Tim, you have pals in all the right places, don’t you?

The two may cross paths as headliners at the NCAA March Madness Music Festival in Dallas in just a few weeks. Last year during the 2013 MusiCares Person of the Year show, McGraw had the incredible honor of paying tribute to the American icon.

“He’s one of the coolest guys I’ve ever been around and [I’m] proud to count him as a friend,” McGraw said.

But it’s not just a personal admiration — it’s professional, too. Musically speaking, the country superstar says it doesn’t get much better than Springsteen.

“He’s an American treasure. I think he’s one of those icons of music that rarely comes along. … You look back through history and there’s only a handful of ’em, and he’s certainly one of those guys that’s inspired so many people,” McGraw said.

There’s a lot of love for Springsteen in the country music community. Heck, Eric Church crafted a monster hit by combining the memories of young love and the American rocker’s timeless music in the aptly-titled single “Springsteen.”

Remember, back in 2012, Lady Antebellum was over the moon to open for the legend at London’s Hard Rock Calling Music Festival in Hyde Park. There’s even concert footage online of the trio covering his classic hit “I’m on Fire” during their shows.

Kip Moore, who’s been called the “Hillbilly Bruce Springsteen,” once told TV host Kelly Ripa that he was a “big fan of Bruce” and that the comparison was a “humbling thing.”

Springsteen himself is apparently a slice of humble pie — not that I would know firsthand, sadly. Perhaps that’s why a nickname like “The Boss” or any other name that could suggest authority or elitism would be bothersome to him. He’s anything but elitist by all accounts I’ve heard. He may not be “The Boss” in his mind … but he is “the man” to McGraw, and me, too.

Springsteen is set to bring his tour to Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on April 17. I wonder how many of his superstar country friends and fans will be in the audience? Maybe a date night for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill?

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.