John J. Mellencamp  born October 7, , previously known as Johnny Cougar , John Cougar , and John Cougar Mellencamp , is an American musician, singer-songwriter, painter, actor, and film director. He is known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock , which emphasizes traditional instrumentation. He has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States. In addition, he holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with seven. Mellencamp has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards , winning one. Mellencamp is also one of the founding members of Farm Aid , an organization that began in with a concert in Champaign, Illinois , to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land. His songs document the joys and struggles of ordinary people seeking to make their way, and he has consistently brought the fresh air of common experience to the typically glamour-addled world of popular music. In , Billboard magazine editor-in-chief Timothy White said:. John Mellencamp is arguably the most important roots rocker of his generation.
John Mellencamp lives in a lakefront mansion at the edge of a wooded acre estate outside Bloomington, Indiana. It has felt bigger since he split with his wife, Elaine Irwin, in , and his two youngest children, Hud, 19, and Speck, 18, took off for college. I walk in now sometimes and go, 'Who loves their dad? Moving to New York to be with his girlfriend, Meg Ryan, would solve the empty-nest problem, but Mellencamp says that's out of the question.
Born October 7, in Seymour, Indiana, John Mellencamp fell in love with music at an early age and was gigging in local bars and fronting a soul band by the time he was His manager dubbed him Johnny Cougar out of his belief that nobody would buy a record by anybody named Mellencamp. John protested but was overruled and eventually, of course, reclaimed his birth name as his public name. In The U. In , John's concern for the plight of the American farmer, which had been voiced in the Scarecrow album, brought him together with Willie Nelson and Neil Young in launching Farm Aid. It became an annual event and has helped make people aware of the issues farmers face and how they affect on the entire nation. In John made his film debut, starring in and directing Falling From Grace , a modest box office success that was well received by critics. John suffered a mild heart attack while touring in in support of Dance Naked. This forced him to take a break from his music career, but he returned strong in and released Mr.
Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the following year, he continues to release new material and tour regularly. John Mellencamp was born on October 7, , in Seymour, Indiana. He often give voice to the American small-town experience in his music—something he knows quite well from his childhood in Seymour. Mellencamp, who recovered from neonatal surgery to correct a spinal defect, developed an early interest in music. He started playing in a cover band called Crepe Soul in his early teens. With a rebellious streak, Mellencamp hung out with his friends and partied instead of paying much attention to his schooling. His disciplinarian father, an executive with a local electronics firm, tried to motivate him to pursue athletics and his studies, with little luck. At the age of 18, Mellencamp eloped with his pregnant year-old girlfriend, Priscilla Esterline. The couple soon welcomed a daughter, Michelle.