Best known as a rock artist who writes catchy, danceable, and sometimes driving songs to match Midwestern baby-boomer sensibilities, John Cougar Mellencamp has directed and starred in one feature film, Falling From Grace (1995), an account of a rock star who finds himself unwelcome when he returns to his small Indiana hometown. Although film never became as important as music in his career, he did appear in Afterimage and the romantic comedy Lone Star State of Mind, and helped pen a stage musical with horror author Stephen King, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. In 2015, he wrote the score for Ithaca, a film directed by his former girlfriend, Meg Ryan. Mellencamp also wrote an original song for the film.
Biography by Sandra Brennan
- Was born with spina bifida, and had corrective surgery as an infant.
- Released first album, Chestnut Street Incident, in 1976 under the name John Cougar.
- Released breakthrough album American Fool in 1982, with hits "Hurts So Good" and "Jack & Diane."
- Cofounded Farm Aid in 1985 with Willie Nelson and Neil Young.
- Directed and starred in the 1992 feature film Falling From Grace.
- Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
- Collaborated with Stephen King and T Bone Burnett on the stage musical Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, which opened in 2012.