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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.This is rock music that tells the truth on both its composer and the culture he's observing. He was born with spina bifida, for which he had corrective surgery as an infant.Mellencamp was unaware of the surgery as well as the life-threatening condition of his infancy until at the age of 12, when a classmate asked him about the scar on the back of his neck.
and later played in the local bands Trash, Snakepit Banana Barn and the Mason Brothers.
When Mellencamp was 18, he eloped with his pregnant girlfriend Priscilla Esterline.
Mellencamp became a father in December 1970, only six months after he graduated from high school.
1 hit in Australia with "I Need a Lover." Riva Records added "I Need a Lover" to Mellencamp's next album released in the United States, 1979's John Cougar, where the song became a No. Pat Benatar recorded "I Need a Lover" on her debut album In the Heat of the Night. "The singles were stupid little pop songs,” he told Record Magazine in 1983. It wasn't like the title was made up – it wasn't supposed to be punky or cocky like some people thought. Me and the guys in the band thought we were finished, anyway. Hell, as long as you sell a few records and the record company isn't putting a lot of money into promotion, you're making money for 'em and that's all they care about. They thought I was going to turn into the next Neil Diamond." In 1982, Mellencamp released his breakthrough album, American Fool, which contained the singles "Hurts So Good", an uptempo rock tune that spent four weeks at No.
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.
Mellencamp was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10, 2008.