John Mellencamp, previously known by the stage names John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp, is a Grammy-winning American rock singer-songwriter, musician, painter and occasional actor known for his rootsy, organic brand of heartland rock that is infused with catchy pop hooks and evocative, introspective lyrics about such hot-button subjects as politics, racism, poverty and mortality. He has sold over 40 million albums worldwide and 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. Mellencamp is also one of the founding members of Farm Aid, an organization that began in 1985 with a star-studded concert in Champaign, Illinois to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land.
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