The Star Phoenix: John Mellencamp Is "Plain Spoken"

The Star Phoenix

When John Mellencamp sang "Longest Days" on David Letterman's The Late Show recently as part of a series of "A-list" well-wishers to send the storied career comedian off into retirement, he revealed again why his huge talent has reached the souls of so many.

The Grammy award-winning artist with the raspy vocals is one of the most successful live concert performers in the world. Mellencamp started early and was fronting a soul band by age 14. After releasing a few albums, he broke out with the hit "I Need a Lover" in 1979. "Hurts so Good" and "Jack Diane" made American Fool the best-selling album of 1982. In 1985, he launched Farm Aid together with Willie Nelson and Neil Young to raise awareness about the plight of the American Farmer.

In the '90s he produced a series of successful albums: "WheneverWeWanted," "Human Wheels" and "Dance Naked." He received the Billboard Century award in 2001, and theWoody Guthrie Award in 2004. The ASCAP Foundation honoured him with the Champion Award because of his outstanding use of music in humanitarian causes. He's also a Rock 'n Roll Hall of Famer.

Mellencamp's current North American tour celebrates his new album "Plain Spoken," his first since "No Better Than This," which garnered the honour of becoming one of Rolling Stone's Best Albums of 2010. Plain Spoken is his 22nd full length album and his first release on Republic Records, with whom he signed a lifetime recording contract last year.

Enjoy a more mellow Mellencamp at TCU Place July 13 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $46.50 to $275 (plus service charges). See for VIP ticket package information.