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A pop sensation in the 1980s, singer-songwriter John Mellencamp has evolved into one of rock’s most enduring acts, and given voice to the small-town experience.
John Mellencamp - Full Biography (45:15)
John Mellencamp - Full Episode (45:15)
The grandson of an Indiana farmer, John Mellencamp grew into a pop/rock icon. Starting as a pop star with hits like "Hand to Hold Onto" and rebellious youth songs like "Play Guitar," he became a "Springsteen of the Midwest."
Starting as a pop star with rebellious youth songs like "Play Guitar," he became a "Springsteen of the Midwest" with his "Small Town" and "Pink Houses," while lending major support to the cause of Farm Aid.
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A well-known Democratic supporter, Mellencamp had his representatives ask Republican candidate John McCain to stop playing his songs “Our Country” and “Pink Houses” during his rallies, according to People magazine.
Also in 2008, Mellencamp was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His 2008 album, Life, Death, Love and Freedom, was released to stellar reviews and a strong showing on the album charts.
In September 1992, Mellencamp married model Elaine Irwin, with whom he had two sons: Hud and Speck. After nearly 18 years of marriage, in 2010, the couple announced that they were splitting. Their divorce was finalized in August 2011.
Mellencamp has been dating actress Meg Ryan since early 2011.
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