(born October 7, 1951), previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, painter, and actor. Mellencamp has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one.
A.," "Paper in Fire,” and "Cherry Bomb." He has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States.
Farm Aid concerts have remained an annual event over the past 34 years, and as of 2019 Rolling Stone contributor Anthony De Curtis said: "Mellencamp has created an important body of work that has earned him both critical regard and an enormous audience.
In 1988, Rolling Stone magazine called this version of Mellencamp's band "one of the most powerful and versatile live bands ever assembled." On the 1984 Uh-Huh Tour, Mellencamp opened his shows with cover versions of songs he admired growing up, including Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel", the Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", Lee Dorsey's "Ya Ya" and the Left Banke's "Pretty Ballerina". It wasn't let's go back and try to make this part fit into my song, but I wanted to capture the same feeling – the way those songs used to make you feel.
Since college, Mellencamp, with the exception of his continuing addiction to nicotine, has lived a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle. After a while, we didn't even have to talk about it anymore.
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."John Mellencamp is arguably the most important roots rocker of his generation. John has made fiddles, hammer dulcimers, Autoharps (sic) and accordions [into] lead rock instruments on a par with electric guitar, bass, and drums, and he also brought what he calls 'a raw Appalachian' lyrical outlook to his songs.
Mellencamp's best music is rock 'n roll stripped of all escapism, and it looks directly at the messiness of life as it's actually lived.
When Mellencamp was 17, he married his pregnant girlfriend Priscilla Esterline.
Mellencamp became a father in December 1970, only six months after he graduated from high school.
Mellencamp confessed in a 2005 interview: "That [name] was put on me by some manager.
I went to New York and everybody said, 'You sound like a hillbilly.' And I said, 'Well, I am.' So that's where he came up with that name.
1 hit in Australia with "I Need a Lover." Riva Records added "I Need a Lover" to Mellencamp's next album released in the United States, 1979's John Cougar, where the song became a No. Pat Benatar recorded "I Need a Lover" on her debut album In the Heat of the Night. "The singles were stupid little pop songs," he told Record Magazine in 1983. It wasn't like the title was made up – it wasn't supposed to be punky or cocky like some people thought. Me and the guys in the band thought we were finished, anyway. Hell, as long as you sell a few records and the record company isn't putting a lot of money into promotion, you're making money for 'em and that's all they care about. They thought I was going to turn into the next Neil Diamond." In 1982, Mellencamp released his breakthrough album, American Fool, which contained the singles "Hurts So Good", an uptempo rock tune that spent four weeks at No.