70 Facts About John Mellencamp

1.

John Mellencamp is known for his catchy brand of heartland rock, which emphasizes traditional instrumentation.

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2.

John Mellencamp has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one.

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3.

John Mellencamp has sold over 30 million albums in the US and over 60 million worldwide.

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4.

John Mellencamp is one of the founding members of Farm Aid, an organization that began in 1985 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.

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5.

John Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, followed by an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2018.

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6.

John Mellencamp was born with spina bifida, for which he had corrective surgery as an infant.

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7.

John Mellencamp attended Vincennes University, a two-year college in Vincennes, Indiana, starting in 1972.

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8.

John Mellencamp recorded The Kid Inside, the follow-up to Chestnut Street Incident, in 1977, but DeFries eventually decided against releasing the album, and John Mellencamp was dropped from MCA records .

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9.

John Mellencamp drew interest from Rod Stewart's manager, Billy Gaff, after parting ways with DeFries and was signed onto the small Riva Records label.

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10.

At Gaff's request, John Mellencamp moved to London, England, for nearly a year to record, promote, and tour behind 1978's A Biography.

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11.

In 1980, John Mellencamp returned with the Steve Cropper-produced Nothin' Matters and What If It Did, which yielded two Top 40 singles – "This Time" and "Ain't Even Done With the Night" .

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12.

Scarecrow was the first album John Mellencamp recorded at his own recording studio, jokingly dubbed "Belmont Mall", located in Belmont, Indiana and built in 1984.

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13.

John Mellencamp sees Scarecrow as the start of the alternative country genre: "I think I invented that whole 'No Depression' thing with the Scarecrow album, though I don't get the credit, " he told Classic Rock magazine in October 2008.

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14.

The album, which John Mellencamp called at the time the most "earthy" record he'd ever made, is the last to feature the "Cougar" moniker.

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15.

John Mellencamp returned to the concert stage in early 1995 by playing a series of dates in small Midwestern clubs under the pseudonym Pearl Doggy.

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16.

In 1999, John Mellencamp covered his own songs as well as those by Bob Dylan and the Drifters for his album Rough Harvest, one of two albums he owed Mercury Records to fulfill his contract .

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17.

At these dozen shows, which ranged in length from 45 to 60 minutes, John Mellencamp covered a number of rock and folk classics and sprinkled in a few of his own songs.

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18.

John Mellencamp embarked on the Cuttin' Heads Tour in the summer of 2001, before the album was even released.

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19.

In October 2002, Mellencamp performed the Robert Johnson song "Stones in My Passway" at two benefit concerts for his friend, Billboard magazine editor-in-chief Timothy White, who died from a heart attack in 2002.

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20.

John Mellencamp would leave the stage as Donovan played seven or eight of his songs and then return to finish off his own set after Donovan departed.

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21.

John Mellencamp intended for Freedom's Road to have a 1960s rock sound while still remaining contemporary, and he feels that goal was achieved.

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22.

John Mellencamp sang "Our Country" to open Game 2 of the 2006 World Series, and the song was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award in the Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance category, but lost to Bruce Springsteen's "Radio Nowhere".

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23.

John Mellencamp recorded the album using a 1955 Ampex portable recording machine and only one microphone, requiring all the musicians to gather together around the mic.

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24.

John Mellencamp wrote over 30 songs for the record, and he wrote one song specifically for Room 414 at the Gunter Hotel John Mellencamp told the San Antonio Express-News:.

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25.

On this tour, which ran through the summer of 2012 and covered the entire United States and Canada and much of Europe, John Mellencamp opened each concert with a showing of a Kurt Markus documentary about the making of No Better Than This called "It's About You" before hitting the stage to play three different sets: a stripped-down acoustic set with his band, a solo acoustic set, and a fully electrified rock set.

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26.

John Mellencamp played for over two hours and included 24 songs in his setlist on the tour.

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27.

John Mellencamp brought the No Better Than This tour to Europe in the summer of 2011, opening in Copenhagen on June 24.

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28.

John Mellencamp took part in two Woody Guthrie tribute concerts in 2012 as part of a year-long celebration surrounding the 100-year anniversary of the folk icon's birth.

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29.

In January 2014, John Mellencamp began recording the project, which would ultimately be titled Plain Spoken and would become his 20th album of original material and 22nd studio album overall.

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30.

In December 2015, John Mellencamp began recording a duets album with Carlene Carter, who was his opening act for all shows on the Plain Spoken Tour and would join John Mellencamp for two songs during his set.

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31.

The 80-minute film is more of a documentary than a true concert film, as John Mellencamp narrates the entire presentation with stories about his childhood, his early days in music, his relationship with his family, the music business and many more topics.

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32.

John Mellencamp confirmed in 2021 that it will be a jukebox musical titled Small Town and the story will involve two kids named Jack and Diane.

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33.

John Mellencamp said that he wrote no new material for the project.

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34.

John Mellencamp told iHeart Radio that Small Town will debut in Louisville in September 2022, pandemic permitting.

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35.

John Mellencamp revealed that the album had the working title of Strictly a One-Eyed Jack.

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36.

John Mellencamp resumed recording on the project in March 2021, with plans to cut at least some of the 17 songs he wrote while in quarantine in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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37.

In May 2021, John Mellencamp revealed that he recently finished the album and that Bruce Springsteen would make a guest appearance on the project.

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38.

John Mellencamp stated in 2021 that he had booked 80 shows for 2022, but the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic ultimately caused him to cancel his 2022 Strictly a One-Eyed Jack tour and push it until 2023.

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39.

John Mellencamp has stated that he's already working on the follow-up to Strictly a One-Eyed Jack.

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40.

John Mellencamp co-wrote several of his best-known songs with his childhood friend George Green who, like John Mellencamp, was born and raised in Seymour, Indiana.

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41.

John Mellencamp has created an important body of work that has earned him both critical regard and an enormous audience.

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42.

John Mellencamp is arguably the most important roots rocker of his generation.

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43.

John Mellencamp is one of the great American songwriters and a great rock spirit.

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44.

John Mellencamp's always been somewhat feisty, and his 'Authority Song' tells that story.

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45.

In 2015, Urban and John Mellencamp performed "Pink Houses" together twice during nationally televised events.

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46.

John Mellencamp has won one Grammy Award and been nominated for 12 others.

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47.

John Mellencamp has been bestowed with the Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef Special Music Industry Humanitarian Award, the Billboard Century Award, the Woody Guthrie Award, and the ASCAP Foundation Champion Award .

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48.

John Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Class of 2008.

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49.

John Mellencamp came to New York in the mid-1970s with the intention of studying painting if his music-career aspirations didn't pan out.

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50.

John Mellencamp's portraiture evolved to a personal style that some critics describe as similar to the dark and shadowy paintings of the German Expressionists.

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51.

John Mellencamp's artwork has been the focus of a number of exhibitions.

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52.

For John Mellencamp, painting has always been a refuge, a solitary antidote to the hectic life of touring and performing.

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53.

John Mellencamp has honed his skills by his own self-education in art history, visiting museums across Europe and America whenever he was on tour and studying a broad spectrum of artists and the mechanics of their work and by looking at signs and billboards out the windows of cars and buses while crisscrossing the country.

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54.

John Mellencamp's work has been exhibited at Herron School of Art and Design, a division of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

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55.

John Mellencamp has made several forays into acting over the years, appearing in four films: Falling from Grace, Madison, After Image, and Lone Star State of Mind .

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56.

John Mellencamp wrote every note – everything – the tiny little needle drops you hear in the back.

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57.

John Mellencamp wrote about half of it after I read him the script, and then the next half after he saw the movie.

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58.

John Mellencamp's band provided the backing on both tracks and performed all the music that is in the movie.

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59.

John Mellencamp began working on a musical with horror author Stephen King, entitled Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, in 2000.

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60.

In 2003, Mellencamp became one of the first entertainers to speak out against the Iraq War when he released the song "To Washington", which was critical of the 2000 U S Presidential elections.

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61.

On his 2007 album, Freedom's Road, Mellencamp included a hidden track called "Rodeo Clown", which was a direct reference to George W Bush .

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62.

John Mellencamp McCain stop using his songs, including "Our Country" and "Pink Houses", during their campaign events.

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63.

John Mellencamp performed "Small Town" at a Barack Obama rally in Evansville, Indiana on April 22, the night of the 2008 Pennsylvania primary.

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64.

In 2010, John Mellencamp's music was used by the National Organization for Marriage at events opposing same-sex marriage.

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65.

John Mellencamp supported Michael Bloomberg in his 2020 presidential campaign by taping a Bloomberg 2020 campaign ad that featured John Mellencamp singing "Small Town".

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66.

John Mellencamp is a supporter of Indiana University and the Indiana Hoosiers, and received an honorary doctorate from the university in 2000.

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67.

John Mellencamp was married to Priscilla Esterline from 1970 until 1981 and to Victoria Granucci from 1981 until 1989.

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68.

John Mellencamp has five children from his three marriages: daughter Michelle from his marriage to Esterline; daughters Teddi Jo and Justice from his marriage to Granucci; and sons Hud and Speck from his marriage to Irwin.

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69.

Daughter Teddi John Mellencamp Arroyave was a cast member on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for three seasons.

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70.

In September 2015, John Mellencamp reportedly started dating former supermodel Christie Brinkley.

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