Don McLean is one of America's most enduring singer-songwriters and is forever associated with his classic hits "American Pie" and "Vincent (Starry Starry Night)." Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records worldwide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. His songs have been recorded by artists from every musical genre, most notably Madonna's No. 1 recording of "American Pie" in 2000 and George Michael's version of "The Grave" in 2003, sung in protest at the Iraq War.
Famed for his perennial 1971 #1 classic "American Pie," an elegiac eight-and-a-half minute folk-pop epic inspired by the tragic death of Buddy Holly, singer/songwriter Don McLean rose to fame through the folk clubs of New York City during the 60's. His follow-up to "American Pie," "Vincent'" was also a smash success, and McLean even became the subject of the Roberta Flack hit "Killing Me Softly With His Song;" however, to his credit, he refused to let the success of "American Pie" straitjacket his career. McLean enjoyed a renaissance with the 1980's "Chain Lightning," a Top 30 album, which spawned a Top Ten smash with its cover of Roy Orbison's classic, "Crying," and his original "Castles In The Air," reaching the Top 40.
The 21st Century has seen a number of new honors for Don McLean and his music. Iona College conferred an honorary doctorate on Don in 2001 and, in February 2002, "American Pie" was finally inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004 Don McLean was inaugurated into the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters' Hall of Fame and in 2007 he shared his life story in Alan Howard's biography.