Born on October 7, 1951, John Mellencamp is a famous American musician. He was born in Seymour, Indiana. He had a strong passion for music during the childhood, which made him start his own band named Crepe Soul at the tender age of 14. Then he played in some local bands in the teen years like Trash and Mason Brothers. John had an interesting teenage life. He eloped and got married to Priscilla Esterline at the age of 18. She was pregnant at that time. He was blessed with a baby girl named Michelle in 1970, six months past his high school graduation.

In 1972, he got enrolled in a two-year college in Vincennes University, Vincennes, Indiana. His college life was filled with drugs and alcohol, which he regretted in his later life. After graduating from college in 1974, he continued playing in local bands. After quitting drugs and alcohol, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in music.

He released his first album ‘Chestnut Street Incident,’ under the stage name of Johnny Cougar in 1976. His stage name which was suggested by his manager Tony DeFries. The album sold only 12,000 copies and turned out to be a flop. After his second album, he was dropped from MCA label. After parting ways with his manager, he worked hard on his music. His first hit ‘I need a Lover’ came in 1979. After tasting success, John delivered his next album ‘Nothing Matters and What If It did’ in 1980. The two singles from the album ‘This Time’ and ‘Ain’t Even Done with the Night’ was a major hit. John came to world’s attention through his breakthrough album ‘American Fool’. He won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male for the song ‘Hurts So Good’ which was the part of the album. Another single ‘Jack and Diane’ from the album also reached the top of the charts.

After achieving success, he added his real surname ‘Mellencamp’ to his new albums. He released his next album ‘Uh-Huh’ in 1983 under the name John Cougar Mellencamp. The album became a huge hit and continue to top the charts. He was an active supporter of farmers in the country. The farmer’s plight is explored in his 1985 album ‘Scarecrow’. He formed an organization ‘Farm-Aid’ to help struggling farmers. To raise funds, he organized Farm-Aid concert, which turned out to be a yearly event.

John released great albums in the 1990’s. Some of his hit albums in 1990’s are Whenever We Wanted (1991), Human Wheels (1993), Dance Naked (1994) and Mr. Happy Go Lucky (1996). His recent works include albums such as Freedom Road, which was released in 2007 and Life, Death, Love and Freedom in 2008. He also tried his luck in acting in films like ‘Falling from Grace’ and ‘Madison’. He got married three times. After splitting from Priscilla Esterline from 1981, he married Victoria Granucci in 1981. The couple got a divorce in 1989. He then went to marry former model Elaine Irwin in 1992. The couple got separated after 18 years of marriage in 2010. His net worth is $25 million dollars. His songs are frequently searched in YouTube.

Last Modified: Apr 7, 2020

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