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2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee John Mellencamp

John Mellencamp

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Billy Joel
  • Category:
John Mellencamp

The candid voice of the heartland.

No artifice, no affectation. John Mellencamp gives it to you straight. He muscled his way up from humble roots, giving a voice to the everyman with his blend of garage- and folk-rock.

Hall of Fame Essay


Debra Frost

As legends go, John Mellencamp’s is more in tune with the Little Engine That Could than the gods of those pantheons from Olympus to Cleveland.

His life itself has been a sheer triumph of will, an uphill battle against formidable odds. Diagnosed at birth with spina bifida, a neural tube defect with often devastating consequences, Mellencamp was hospitalized frequently throughout childhood.

Given his early prognosis, his merely banging on the gates of the music industry, never mind surmounting all its obstacles, seems fairly miraculous.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2008
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don’t take any shit, and John, you do that very well.

Billy Joel



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