Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to Pete Seeger during his concert in Cape Town last night.

“I lost a great friend and a great hero [Monday] night,” Springsteen told the crowd at the Bellville Velodrome in his second of three shows at the venue.

He called Seeger “a very courageous freedom fighter,” and sang the social justice anthem “We Shall Overcome” in Seeger’s honor.

Springsteen’s admiration and ties with Seeger go back decades. Seeger served as a major inspiration to Springsteen in terms of how a musician can incorporate  social issues into his work onstage and off and on and off recordings. Springsteen contributed a cover of “We Shall Overcome” to a tribute album, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone: the Songs of Pete Seeger” in 1997, and, most famously, released “We Shall Overcome The Seeger Sessions,” in 2006. The collection, which included traditionals made famous by and original songs from Pete Seeger won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.

Springsteen and Seeger also performed “This Land Is Your Land” together at the “We Are One” concert at the Lincoln Memorial celebrating Barack Obama’s  first inauguration.

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