Bruce Springsteen to be SXSW 2012 Keynote Speaker

Bruce Springsteen performs at "America: A Tribute To Heroes" after 9/11.

The South By Southwest Music and Media Conference and Festival announced this morning that Bruce Springsteen will be keynote speaker for next year's event.

The keynote will take place on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at the Convention Center in Austin, Texas, the hub of SXSW Music events.

"His recordings include time-tested classics of rock and acoustic-based albums celebrating folk traditions," the SXSW press release reads. "His live shows are truly fervent celebrations of the communal power of music. As SXSW fosters connection and communication in the music community, this event will undoubtedly further those aims in an unique conference session."

At press time, there were also rumors of a Springsteen club show during the conference, although that's not likely to be confirmed until it actually happens.

The keynote announcement comes at a pivotal time in Springsteen's career. Having endured the loss of two key, long-serving members of his E Street Band in recent years -- organist Danny Federici in 2008 and, last summer, saxophonist Clarence Clemons -- he recently announced a new album and tour for next year.

Previous keynote speakers at the annual event include industry legends such as Smokey Robinson, Neil Young and Johnny Cash.