Mellencamp rose to fame in the 1980s while "honing an almost startlingly plainspoken writing style that, starting in 1982, yielded a string of Top 10 singles", including "Hurts So Good", "Jack & Diane", "Crumblin' Down", "Pink Houses", "Lonely Ol' Night", "Small Town", "R. Farm Aid concerts have remained an annual event over the past 32 years, and as of 2017 the organization has raised over million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture.
Mellencamp has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one.
In 1980, Mellencamp returned with the Steve Cropper-produced Nothin' Matters and What If It Did, which yielded two Top 40 singles – "This Time" (No. 2 and 16 weeks in the top 10, and "Jack & Diane", which was a No. A third single, "Hand to Hold on To", made it to No. "Hurts So Good" went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance at the 25th Grammys.
"To be real honest, there's three good songs on that record, and the rest is just sort of filler", Mellencamp told Creem Magazine of American Fool in 1984.
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.
His daughter, Michelle, later became a mother at age 19, making Mellencamp a grandfather at 37.
Mellencamp attended Vincennes University, a two-year college in Vincennes, Indiana, starting in 1972.
It was a different sound." With some commercial success under his belt, Mellencamp had enough clout to force the record company to add his real surname, Mellencamp, to his stage moniker. "We realized more than ever what a big melting pot of all different types of music the '60s were.
The first album recorded under his new name John Cougar Mellencamp was 1983's Uh-Huh, a Top-10 album that spawned the Top 10 singles "Pink Houses" and "Crumblin' Down" as well as the No. Take an old Rascals song for example – there's everything from marching band beats to soul music to country sounds in one song.
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 and accordions 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.
(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 released his latest album, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, on April 28, 2017, to widespread critical acclaim.