John Mellencamp is an American rock/roots rock singer, songwriter, and guitarist, known for a long and successful recording and performing career highlighted by a series of 1980s hits, including “Jack and Diane”, “Pink Houses” and others, and by his role in the Farm Aid charity event.
Mellencamp, who was born with a mild form of spina bifida that was corrected with neurosurgery when he was three weeks old, had a troubled childhood marked by several brushes with the law.
After graduating from high school in 1970, Mellencamp eloped with his pregnant girlfriend and began performing with the band Snakepit Banana Barn the following year. He also played with a glam-rock band called Trash and another called the Mason Brothers before landing a record deal in 1975.
Source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cougar_Melloncamp