Pop Culture

Bruce Springsteen leads tribute outpouring for James Gandolfini

They're both sons of New Jersey, they've both been called bosses, and both and have a shared connection with "The Sopranos," so it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that Bruce Springsteen dedicated part of his Thursday night show in Coventry, U.K., to the late James Gandolfini, who died Wednesday in Rome.

Still, it was a generous gesture.

Nils Meilvang / Today
Bruce Springsteen, left, and Steven Van Zandt perform in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May as part of their current tour. Van Zandt starred on "The Sopranos."

According to Glide Magazine's "Hidden Track" column, Springsteen paused 12 songs into his set to announce that the band would play 1975's "Born to Run" album all the way through, dedicating it to Gandolfini.

A regular member of Springsteen's E Street band, Steven Van Zandt, appeared as Tony Soprano's consigliere on the series for its full 6-season run, as Silvio Dante, and wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday, "I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time."

A moment of silence is observed for actor James Gandolfini by the New York Yankees.

Meanwhile, Springsteen wasn't the only Tri-state institution to offer up a tribute to Gandolfini; the New York Yankees observed a moment of silence for the actor and sports fan ahead of the start of their Wednesday night game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

As noted in The Hollywood Reporter, the Yankees played the "Sopranos" theme song, then displayed a 2002 photo of Gandolfini waving in the stadium along with the silence. Gandolfini had thrown out the opening pitch at that game, and read from Lou Gehrig's 1939 farewell speech. (Sports fans have noted that Gandolfini died on what would have been Gehrig's 110th birthday.)

Additionally, "Sesame Street" posted a clip from Gandolfini's 2002 appearance on the show, where he comforted Muppet Zoe about being afraid.

"I know what it's like to be scared," he said on the show. "Everyone gets scared sometimes."