John Mellencamp Reportedly Calls It Quits With Girlfriend After Dating Several Months

by Samantha Whidden

Singer-songwriter John Mellencamp has reportedly parted ways with his current girlfriend, Natasha Barrett, after only several months of dating. The couple was introduced by Mellencamp’s daughter, Teddie Mellencamp Arroyave. 

Earlier this summer, a source told People that John Mellencamp and Barrett had been dating for several months. “He met her through his daughter, Teddie Jo, who lives in L.A. They’ve been seeing each other for a few months. Everybody really likes her.”

Prior to dating Barrett, John Mellencamp was linked to Jamie Sue Sherrill. He previously split from his ex-fiancée Meg Ryan in 2019. A source told People at the time that his split with Ryan was due to the fact that he didn’t want to get married again. He was previously married to Elaine Irwin, Victoria Granucci, and Priscilla Esterline. 

John Mellencamp Revealed the Story Behind His Nickname ‘John Cougar’ 

In a 2018 interview with the American Songwriter, John Mellencamp opened up about the true story behind his nickname, John Cougar. “That was put on me by some manager,” Mellencamp declared. He also explained that when he went to New York, everybody said he sounded like a hillbilly. His response was, that he knew he was. 

“So there’s where he came up with that name. I was totally unaware of it until it showed up on the album jacket,” John Mellencamp recalled. He further stated when he objected to the name, the manager said he either goes for it or his record will never be put out. “So that was what I had to do… but I thought the name was pretty silly.”

John Mellencamp Opened Up About His Songwriting

When asked if his managers were ok with the idea of writing his own songs, John Mellencamp said there were always managers that wanted to put their two cents in. “But after that Johnny Cougar debacle, I pretty much rejected about everything they ever said. You know, I’ve always been an outsider. I’ve never really been part of any New York-hip or L.A.-cool scene. I’ve always been from the Midwest.”

While chatting about his approach to writing music, John Mellencamp says his music ideas come from him looking out the window. He then sees the songs come to him. “I see myself in the old tradition of the troubadour,” he explains. “I read the papers, watch the news, and I talk to people. I’m inspired by those things.”

John Mellencamp admitted that writing music doesn’t actually come easy for him. “You know, it takes a person a long time to find his voice. I always marvel at guys whose first records are so well-written and so well done.”

“Once I started writing songs, and once If found my voice, I knew what I had to do,” John goes on to add.