John Mellencamp's Ex-Wives: How Many Times Has The Singer Been Married?

He's a Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who has been entertaining fans around the world with his music for decades. John Mellencamp, 70, a real "Small Town" boy from Seymour, Indiana, with his smoldering good looks and self-perpetuated "bad-boy" image, never had a problem attracting the ladies. "I used to ... get in fights all the time," he told the Los Angeles Times back in 1986. "It was important to have people say, 'Yeah, he's a wild guy.'" 

That wild guy has taken three trips down the aisle and gone through one very high-profile breakup. We know he's a chart-topping recording artist, but how did he fare when it comes to matrimonial affairs? We'll take you for a behind-the-scenes look at the drama, the heartbreak, and some of the fun the rock star had with his wives and the ones that got away. Buckle up, you might be in for a bumpy ride.

John Mellencamp eloped with first wife Priscilla Esterline

The "Hurts So Good" crooner eloped with his first wife, Priscilla Esterline, who was two months pregnant at the time, while he was a senior in high school. John Mellencamp was 18, and Esterline was 21. The couple welcomed their daughter, Michelle, into the world in December of 1970. He was not really sure he wanted a career as a musician at that point. He played with several different bands as a teen, and after graduating, he enrolled at Vincennes University to study Communications. 

Toward the end of their 11-year marriage, as his career was beginning to pick up steam, he acknowledged that life on the road was taking its toll on the relationship. In a 1994 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mellencamp tried to rationalize that infidelity comes with the territory when you marry a rock star. "How many guys [do] you know in rock bands that have been divorced? There's a reason for that. I don't care who you are or who you think you are, you're gonna fall into the pitfalls of that sooner or later. It's rock & roll. I mean, what other reason would a guy ever pick up a guitar as a teenager?"

Second wife Victoria Granucci appeared in his Jack and Diane video

An aspiring actress at the time who appeared in John Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane" music video, Victoria Granucci married the "Pink Houses" rocker in 1981. The couple have two daughters, Teddi Jo (now Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave) and Justice. At the risk of sounding like a broken record (pun intended), the same old patterns started to occur during this marriage. 

In another part of that 1994 sit-down with Entertainment Weekly, Mellencamp realized he just needed to grow up and man up for his family. "It's just like anything: Once you make enough mistakes, you understand what the penalties are," he said. He and wife number two split in 1989, and she took then-13-year-old Teddi Jo and then-8-year-old Justice with her. "Back then I had the best of both worlds. I'd come home to Indiana, had two beautiful kids, a nice wife, the whole bit. Out on the road I was still 19. And (Vicky) just got sick of it. Can't blame her. So I lost my kids. I thought, man, what have I done?" Arroyave is now following in her mom's footsteps. She is an actress and TV personality who has appeared as a regular cast member on three seasons of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

John Mellencamp is 'still good friends' with third wife Elaine Irwin

Elaine Irwin was hired to appear in John Mellencamp's music video for "Get a Leg Up." She also appeared on the "Whenever We Wanted" album cover. They married in 1992 and divorced in 2011. "I was married to Elaine for 20 years," he told Howard Stern, according to ABC News. The duo, who share two sons, Hud and Speck, remain on good terms. "Elaine and I are still good friends." 

In this case, the "R.O.C.K. in the USA" singer blames another woman for his marital problems, but it's someone you'd never suspect. It's his grandmother!  Mellencamp told Jane Pauley on CBS Sunday Morning that she would call her grandson every day and say, "Buddy, don't forget. You're the handsomest, luckiest, most talented boy in the world." He adds, "She told me that every day of my life. The flipside of that is it's really hard for girlfriends to compete with that. And wives. Come on. My Elaine used to say, 'I can't compete with grandma. I just can't.'"

When John met Meg

The "I Need a Lover" singer and the "You've Got Mail" star linked up in 2011, and fans may have been more excited than the woman in that famous diner scene in "When Harry Met Sally," who said, "I'll have what she's having." In a 2014 interview with Howard Stern, John Mellencamp gushed, "Meg is an angel. She was just an angel sent to me at the right time," per E! After three years together, the rocker and the ex-wife of actor Dennis Quaid split, but the couple relit the fire in 2017 and ramped things up with an engagement in 2018. 

In 2019, they called it quits for good, and the relationship did not end amicably. According to People, Mellencamp told Stern that he and Ryan no longer speak. "I loved Meg Ryan. She hates me to death." He says he tried to smooth things over with the "Sleepless in Seattle" star, but she wasn't having it. "She just doesn't want anything to do with me," he admitted, "and I don't blame her." Per People, the reason for the split was the long-distance relationship. Ultimately, the Indiana rocker didn't see himself moving to Manhattan. In 2013, he told Rolling Stone, "I'm too sensitive to live there. I can't see poor people. I can't see the suffering. I can't see the trash on the streets." He also may have been resentful of Ryan's fame.

Will John Mellencamp tie the knot one more time?

The "Crumblin' Down” vocalist still has an eye for beautiful and talented women. In 2015 (while Meg Ryan and John Mellencamp were "on a break”), he dated supermodel Christie Brinkley. The "Parks and Rec" alum told People that Mellencamp was "kind of a throwback from another time, like a silent cowboy." Alas, the star of the "Uptown Girl" video and the "Small Town" boy weren't the perfect match, and the couple split on good terms about a year later. 

Following that, Mellencamp dated two more lovely California women, both introduced by his daughter, Teddi. According to People, in 2020, Mellencamp did some quarantining in his Indiana home with Hollywood nurse and celebrity skin expert Jamie Sherrill. That relationship was over soon after the ball dropped on New Year's Eve 2021. Then, the Heartland rock star took up with realtor and Santa Barbara native Natasha Barrett (per Page Six). Photographers snapped the pair getting cozy over Memorial Day weekend 2021 in Malibu, but the couple didn't make it through Labor Day.

In a 2017 profile with CBS Sunday Morning, the youthful musician acknowledged he is keenly aware that life holds no guarantees, saying, "I can see the finish line from here. I only have so many summers left, and I intend not to waste them being old." With five children, several grandchildren, and his wild partying days way behind him, when it comes to settling down, John Mellencamp just might be singing a different tune these days.