Rock singer John Mellencamp was born on this day in 1951 in Seymour, Indiana.
While in his teens, he played in a cover band called Crepe Soul. At the age of 18, he married his pregnant 21-year-old girlfriend Priscilla Esterline.
He attended Vincennes University while pursuing his music career. He eventually met manager Tony DeFries, who urged him to change his stage name to John Cougar.
After firing DeFries, his next project had his first hit ‘I Need A Lover’, which came out in 1979.
However, his breakthrough came with 1982’s ‘American Fool’, which contained the hit singles ‘ Hurts So Good’ and ‘Jack and Diane’.
With the next album, he changed his name to John Cougar Mellencamp. 1983’s ‘Uh-Huh’ contained hit singles such as ‘Crumblin’ Down’, ‘Pink Houses’ and ‘Authority Song’. 1985’s ‘Scarecrow’ saw hits such as ‘R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.’ and ‘Small Town’.
He finally reverted back to his birth name John Mellencamp in 1991, and in 1992 he began his acting career with the film ‘Falling From Grace’.
To this day, he continues to tour and record, and still resides in his home state of Indiana.