Ever since MTV turned this unassuming roots rocker from Indiana into a Midwestern music icon in 1983, John Mellencamp has continued to grow and evolve as a musician. From his association with Willie Nelson's Farm Aid concerts to his hit duets with such unexpected performers as Me'Shell NdegéOcello, Mellencamp has built on his past while exploring ways to reach new fans. The result is a long history of huge ticket sales all over the nation.
First known professionally as John Cougar (the fault of David Bowie's manager), Mellencamp hails from Seymour, Indiana. Born with spina bifida, he has spent his whole life as an underdog, and therefore as a champion of the underdogs of American society. While 'Hurts So Good' and 'Jack & Diane' reached Number 2 and Number 1 respectively in 1982, it was 'Pink Houses' (1984), 'Small Town' (1985) and 'Rain on the Scarecrow' (1986) that cemented his image as the spokesman for the common man.
Unlike many of acts that were huge in the mid-1980s, Mellencamp is not recycling his hits on nostalgia tours. His albums continue to sell in the millions, and he continues to work with innovative musicians.
From his early days as a Bob Seger sound-alike, Mellencamp added a Cajun touch to his album 'Lonesome Jubilee' in 1987, with the help of fiddler Lisa Germano and the accordion of John Cascella. When he stripped out that sound, Mellencamp wound up covering Van Morrison's 'Wild Night' in a sparsely produced dance version. Later works have included collaborations with Junior Vasquez and India.Arie.
Winner of the Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male in 1982 for 'Hurts So Good,' Mellencamp received the Billboard Century Award for creative achievement in 2001. His 2003 album, 'Trouble No More,' reached the Number 1 spot on the Billboard Blues chart. With his roots rock work, his Cajun-styled work, his dance tunes and now his blues covers, John Mellencamp remains a hot act, so you need to get to work if you want tickets to one of his shows.
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