Bruce Cockburn (pronounced "CO-burn") (born May 27, 1945 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) has had a long and distinguished career, with much success in his native Canada. He has written songs in styles ranging from folk to jazz-influenced rock to rock and roll. Cockburn was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2001. In 2012 he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (in Canada the award was to honour "significant contributions and achievements by Canadians").
Cockburn's early albums were fairly straight ahead folk music spotlighting his brilliant guitar playing. In fact, there were a good number of instrumental guitar numbers on those early recordings. A Christian element came into his music around the time of the album Salt, Sun and Time, and over time his writing has taken on a stronger and stronger political orientation.
Perhaps the most consistent element of Cockburn's music has been his willingness to change and evolve over time. In this way, he is similar to fellow Canadians Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.