'Little Steven' Van Zandt is among the latest class of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, and you can bet Bruce Springsteen helped do the honors!  Helping wrap up the annual festivities in Asbury Park on Sunday, Springsteen raved about his close friend and irreplaceable E Street Band 'lieutenant', while noting Van Zandt's "solo work speaks for itself."

The duo then shared the stage at Paramount Theater, jamming with the night's house band (led by fellow NJ rocker, Glen Burtnik) on "I Don't Want To Go Home."

In his acceptance speech, Van Zandt humbly talked about being lucky to grow up (in Middletown) 'at the right time'. He spoke of the E Street Band's rise to global fame, joking they did the impossible and 'made New Jersey hip.' He also touched on his on-screen role as Silvio Dante,  with the iconic HBO series "The Sopranos."

Bruce Springsteen Little Steven Van Zandt NJ Hall of Fame, Springsteen Little Steven Asbury Park
Little Steven & Maureen Van Zandt at NJ Hall of Fame ceremony (Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media)

Van Zandt told the cheering crowd, "Thank you, New Jersey; you have been very, very good to me" and added he hopes to return the favor. He was among 21 NJ natives in the Class of 2017, marking the NJ Hall of Fame's 10th anniversary. Little Steven previously was inducted with the entire E Street Band as part of the Class of 2012.

There had been buzz about a potential 'Bruce sighting' among fans, leading up to the ceremony. It was feasible from a scheduling standpoint, as 'Springsteen on Broadway' doesn't play Sunday nights in Manhattan.

Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.

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