Bruce Springsteen’s mother Adele dies aged 98: Music legend, 74, reveals parent’s passing 13 years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease

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Written By Maya Cantina

Bruce Springsteen’s mother Adele has died aged 98, the singer announced in a devastating Instagram post on Thursday.

Dancing In The Dark hitmaker Springsteen, 74, announced his beloved mother’s death by sharing a poignant video of Adele dancing with him to swing music alongside a caption comprised of lyrics from his 1998 song The Wish – which was written for her.

He wrote: ‘Adele Springsteen – May 4, 1925 – January 31, 2024.

‘I remember in the morning mom hearing your alarm clock ring. I’d lie in bed and listen to you getting ready for work, the sound of your makeup case on the sink. 

‘And the ladies at the office all lipstick, perfume and rustling skirts, how proud and happy you always looked walking home from work.

‘It ain’t no phone call on Sunday, flowers or a Mother’s Day card. It ain’t no house on the hill with a garden and a nice little yard. I’ve got my hot rod down on Bond Street I’m older but you’ll know me in a glance. We’ll find us a Little rock ‘n roll bar and we’ll go out and dance.

Bruce Springsteen’s mother Adele has died aged 98, the singer announced in a devastating Instagram post on Thursday (pictured 2013)

Dancing In The Dark hitmaker Springsteen, 74, announced his beloved mother's death by sharing a poignant video of Adele dancing with him to swing music alongside a caption comprised of lyrics from his 1998 song The Wish - which was written for her

Dancing In The Dark hitmaker Springsteen, 74, announced his beloved mother’s death by sharing a poignant video of Adele dancing with him to swing music alongside a caption comprised of lyrics from his 1998 song The Wish – which was written for her

Adele was well-known and beloved by Springsteen fans as she would often attend his shows and he would dance with her onstage,

He said during a  2021 Springsteen on Broadway performance: ‘My mother loves to dance. She grew up in the ‘40s… [with] the big bands and the swing bands, and that was a time when dancing was an existential act.

‘She’s 95 and she’s 10 years into Alzheimer’s and that’s taken a lot away from us,” he continued. “But the need to dance hasn’t left her.

‘She can’t speak. She can’t stand. She can’t feed herself. But when she sees me, there is always a smile. Still a smile. And there’s still a kiss. And there’s a sound which she makes when she sees me. It’s just the sound but I know it means ‘I love you.’”

‘I put on Glen Miller and she starts moving in her chair […] she starts reaching out for me, to take her in my arms once more and to dance with her across the floor.

‘This is an essential part of mom’s spirit, it’s who she is,” he said. “It’s beyond language and it’s more powerful than memory. It’s the embodiment. 

‘This is what she has put her trust in and lived her life by and which, despite all she has suffered, she carries on with to this moment, as if life’s beauty never deserted her. I love her.’

Adele Ann Zerilli was originally from the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. She married Bruce’s father Douglas Springstreen in 1948 after his cousin set them up. Douglas died in 1998 aged 73. 

Adele was well-known and beloved by Springsteen fans as she would often attend his shows and he would dance with her onstage (pictured 2013 in Spain)

Adele was well-known and beloved by Springsteen fans as she would often attend his shows and he would dance with her onstage (pictured 2013 in Spain)

Bruce is pictured with Adele and and aunts Ida Urbelis and Dora Kirby at the 9th annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards in 2010

Bruce is pictured with Adele and and aunts Ida Urbelis and Dora Kirby at the 9th annual Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards in 2010 

Bruce is pictured with Adele, wife Patti Scialfa and daughter Jessica in 2013

Bruce is pictured with Adele, wife Patti Scialfa and daughter Jessica in 2013

Bruce and his two younger sisters Pamela and Virginia grew up in Freehold, New Jersey. 

Adele worked as a legal secretary for 47 years while Douglas was a bus driver and World War II army veteran. Douglas battled depression throughout his lifetime with Bruce also suffering his own crippling battle with mental health.

The family moved to California when Bruce was 19 – he stayed in New Jersey to pursue his then-burgeoning music career. 

Adele told The San Mateo County Times in 1984: ‘There aren’t any words to describe it. What would you do if your kid was smiling at you from every PEOPLE magazine in town?

‘All our children are nice children. We’re proud of all of them.’

Bruce  detailed his troubled relationship with his father, who was unable to tell his son he loved him despite their relationship recovering to a degree prior to his death in 1998, in memoir, Born To Run.

‘The best you could get was, “Love you, Pops.” [Switching to his father’s gruff voice.] “Eh, me, too”,’ he told Vanity Fair.

‘Even after he had a stroke and he’d be crying, he’d still go, “Me, too.” You’d hear his voice breaking up, but he couldn’t get out the words.’

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