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Who do you think is gonna be the Top Rock Artist at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards?

Who do you think is gonna be the Top Rock Artist at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards?

Madonna and Bruce Springsteen lead Billboard’s annual list of the year’s top 40 money makers: http://blbrd.co/XQEZDp

Bon Jovi, “Livin’ on a Prayer”

PLUS: 12 Things You Didn’t See At the 12-12-12 Sandy Relief Concert

Today In Billboard History

April 27, 1985

It wasn’t just a No. 1 song: the compilation album “We Are the World” reaches the top of the Billboard 200. In addition to the title all-star title track, the set includes solo songs from Prince, Bruce Springsteen and Tina Turner.

There will be those that believe a millionaire rock star singing about poor people and hard work, as Bruce Springsteen so passionately does on his powerful new album “Wrecking Ball,” to be the height of hypocrisy. But to do so would be both shortsighted and uninformed. First, as a pedigreed Jersey shore rat raised in economically depressed Freehold, N.J., Springsteen knows a thing or two about economic frustration. And, secondly, anyone who has seen Springsteen perform at any one of thousands of shows over the past 40 years, with or without his E Street Band, is well aware that he packs his lunch pail every night and welcomes overtime.

"Wrecking Ball," Springsteen’s 17th studio album, finds the artist exploring familiar working class territory, but with a vigor and fearlessness not seen since 2002’s equally-inspired "The Rising." Produced by Springsteen with Ron Aniello, the characters that populate most of the album’s 11 tracks are generally having a pretty tough go of it, to say the least. While sometimes not above contemplating crime and murder, as with the anti-heroes in 1980’s thematically similar "Nebraska" would have opted, the protagonists of "Wrecking Ball" more often just want to put in an honest day’s work. With its gritty portrayal of the danger at hand when lives are lived on the edge of collapse, "Wrecking Ball" does indeed recall "Nebraska," though the newer record is far more complex musically and more pointed in its observations.

More from our track-by-track review of Springsteen’s “Wrecking Ball”

President Obama may have boosted the sales of “Let’s Stay Together” by 490% last week, but sometimes, politics and music just don’t mix. Kanye knows (cue awkward Mike Myers) - so do the Dixie Chicks and Springsteen. So do others.