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Bruce Springsteen understood the impact of David Bowie, and paid tribute to the late icon with a very special performance during his "River Tour" kickoff on Saturday night (January 16).

For the opening date of the 2016 trek, the rock icon found it appropriate to share some insight about his relationship with Bruce and perform a first-time cover of Bowie's 1974 hit "Rebel Rebel."

"He supported our music way, way back in the very beginning, 1973," he told the audience. "He rang me up and I visited him down in Philly when he was making the Young Americans record. He covered some of my music and was a big supporter of ours. I took the Greyhound bus down to Philadelphia, that's how early it was. Anyway, we're thinking of him."

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Check out Bruce Springsteen's full speech and performance in honor of David Bowie below!

Photo: Getty Images