John Mellencamp

~ Person


John J Mellencamp (born October 7, 1951), also known as John Cougar Mellencamp, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, painter, and actor. He is known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock, which emphasizes traditional instrumentation. He rose to superstardom 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.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.," "Paper in Fire," and "Cherry Bomb." He has amassed 22 Top 40 hits in the United States. In addition, he holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit number one on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, with seven, and has been nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one. Mellencamp released his latest album, Plain Spoken, on September 23, 2014, to widespread critical acclaim.

Mellencamp is also 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. Farm Aid concerts have remained an annual event over the past 31 years, and as of 2016 the organization has raised over $50 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture.

Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008. His biggest musical influences are Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, James Brown and the Rolling Stones. Said longtime Rolling Stone contributor Anthony DeCurtis: "Mellencamp has created an important body of work that has earned him both critical regard and an enormous audience. 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."

The late Billboard magazine editor-in-chief Timothy White said in 2001:

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. 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. In his music, mortality, anxiety, acts of God, questions of romance and brotherhood, and crises of conscience all collide and demand hard decisions. This is rock music that tells the truth on both its composer and the culture he's observing.

Johnny Cash called Mellencamp "one of the 10 best songwriters" in music.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1976 Chestnut Street Incident Johnny Cougar 4
1978 A Biography Johnny Cougar 2
1979 John Cougar John Cougar 4 4
1980 Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did John Cougar 2 8
1982 American Fool John Cougar 5
1983 The Kid Inside John Cougar 3
1983 Uh-Huh John Cougar Mellencamp 3 5
1985 Scarecrow John Cougar Mellencamp 10
1987 The Lonesome Jubilee John Cougar Mellencamp 9
1989 Big Daddy John Cougar Mellencamp 6
1991 Whenever We Wanted John Mellencamp 4
1993 Human Wheels John Mellencamp 3
1994 Dance Naked John Mellencamp 3
1996 Mr. Happy Go Lucky John Mellencamp 4
1998 John Mellencamp John Mellencamp 1
1999 Rough Harvest John Mellencamp 2
2000 Skin It Back John Mellencamp 1
2001 Cuttin' Heads John Mellencamp 5
2003 Trouble No More John Mellencamp 1
2007 Freedom's Road John Mellencamp 1
2008 Life, Death, Love and Freedom John Mellencamp 3
2010 No Better Than This John Mellencamp 3
2014 Performs Trouble No More Live at Town Hall John Mellencamp 1
2014 Plain Spoken John Mellencamp 3

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1986 John Cougar: The Collection John Cougar 1
1997 The Best That I Could Do 1978-1988 John Mellencamp 5
2000 Skin It Back John Mellencamp 1
2004 Words & Music: John Mellencamp’s Greatest Hits John Mellencamp 3
2007 The Best Of John Mellencamp / The Millennium Collection John Mellencamp 1
2010 On the Rural Route 7609 John Mellencamp 1
2013 John Mellencamp 1970-2012 John Mellencamp 1
Best of John John Mellencamp 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2003 Crossroads John Mellencamp & Kenny Chesney 1
2009 Life Death Live and Freedom John Mellencamp 2

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2013 Ghost Brothers of Darkland County John Mellencamp, T-Bone Burnett & Stephen King 2


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1991 Get a Leg Up John Mellencamp 1
1991 Love and Happiness John Mellencamp 1
1993 Human Wheels John Mellencamp 2
1994 Wild Night John Mellencamp 4
1996 Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) John Mellencamp 3
1999 Your Life Is Now John Mellencamp 1
1999 I'm Not Running Anymore John Mellencamp 1
Cherry Bomb John Mellencamp 1
Rooty Toot Toot John Mellencamp 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2007 Our Country / Jack & Diane / My Aeroplane John Mellencamp 1
2007 Freedom's Road John Mellencamp 1

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