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Hoosier native John Mellencamp among nominees for 2018 Songwriters Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 24: Recording artist John Mellencamp performs onstage during CMT Crossroads: John Mellencamp and Darius Rucker on February 24, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for CMT)

Seymour native John Mellencamp is among the nominees for the 2018 class of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He’s nominated in the performing songwriters category. Other artists nominated in that category include Mariah Carey, Alice Cooper, Alan Jackson, Tracy Chapman, The Isley Brothers, NWA and Jimmy Cliff.

Mellencamp first broke into music as “Johnny Cougar” and performed for several years as “John Cougar Mellencamp.” His popularity exploded in the 80s, when he had a string of hits including “Hurts So Good,” “Jack & Diane,” “Small Town,” “Pink Houses” and “R.O.C.K. in the USA,” among others. He dropped the “Cougar” from his name for good in 1991.

He’s won numerous awards throughout his career, including the Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef Special Music Industry Humanitarian Award, the Billboard Century Award, the Woody Guthrie Award, the ASCAP Foundation Champion Award, Q Awards’ Classic Songwriter Award, the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award and the John Steinbeck Award. He also helped organize “Farm Aid” with Willie Nelson and Neil Young to raise money for U.S. farm families.

Mellencamp, who was born in Seymour, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. His most recent album is Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, which was released in April and marked his 23rd studio album.

Here are the other artists nominated in the same category:

  • Mariah Carey
  • Tracy Chapman
  • Jimmy Cliff
  • Alice Cooper
  • Tom T. Hall
  • Chrissie Hynde
  • The Isley Brothers (Ernie, Marvin, O’Kelly, Ronald & Rudolph Isley & Chris Jasper)
  • Alan Jackson
  • Kool & The Gang (Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell, George Brown & James “JT” Taylor)
  • MWA (Eazy-E, Dr Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren & DJ Yella)
  • Tom Waits