‘American Pie’ Singer Don McLean Honored with Hollywood Walk of Fame Star as Song Turns 50

by Chris Haney

On Monday, “American Pie” singer Don McLean was honored with his own star on the coveted Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California.

The singer-songwriter’s famous title track from his hit 1971 album of the same name turns 50 this year. His Hollywood star ceremony coincides with the milestone anniversary of “American Pie.” Don McLean’s American Pie album shot to the top of the Billboard 200 charts that year. His second studio album included the aforementioned hit single, which was also a number-one U.S. hit for a month straight in early 1972.

Additionally, a 1991 reissue of the single climbed to No. 12 while making its second appearance on the Billboard charts. Pop icon Madonna also covered the hit song in 2000 for the soundtrack of her movie The Next Best Thing. The film might’ve flopped in theaters, but the song did well on the charts.

As Don McLean received his Hollywood star yesterday, he was all smiles. The famous musician spoke to a crowd near his star and shared his initial influence for getting into music as a young man.

“Once I discovered the guitar, I saw Elvis Presley on the front of the TV Guide. I said, ‘Man, if I could just learn to play that, you know, I can sing. Maybe I can make a few bucks,'” Don McLean said during the ceremony about how he began his musical journey.

Additionally, while receiving his star on the Walk of Fame, cameras captured McLean and his girlfriend. The 75-year-old has dated his model girlfriend, Paris Dylan, for the last five years. The couple posed with one another and kissed for the cameras while celebrating the honor.

Don McLean and His Highly Publicized Relationships

The “American Pie” singer has been in a long-term relationship with the 27-year-old model for years now. Although the couple are not married, Don McLean calls Paris Dylan the “most wonderful person” he knows.

“She is the most wonderful person that I have ever known,” the musician told People Magazine in March. “I think of her when I sing a lot of my songs.”

“I’m honored to have her as a girlfriend and a partner and we have no plans to ever break up,” he added. “We are going to stay together and ride this pony as long as we can.”

For a decade between 1962 and 1972, Don McLean was married to his first wife, Carol. He then married his second wife, Patrisha Shnier, in 1987. The couple stayed together for 29 years until their 2016 separation due to domestic violence claims.

The musician pleaded guilty to domestic violence assault. However, prosecutors dropped the charges after he met plea agreement terms. In October 2020, McLean spoke about the case and his ex-wife in a The Irish Times interview.

“I can truly say that my ex-wife is the worst person I ever knew… There’s nobody that compares,” McLean told the outlet.

“All these love letters that she sent me every month for 30 years – they immediately turned to salt,” he said.

According to Don McLean’s lawyer, he paid the fine “not because he was in fact guilty of anything, but to provide closure for his family and keep the whole process as private as possible.”