How Many Kids Does John Mellencamp Have? The Rock Singer is a Father of 5


John Mellencamp, known for his brand of heartland rock and Americana music, has had a prolific career spanning over 40 years. Not as well known is his personal life, which includes being the father of five children with three different women over the years. So just how many kids does the rock crooner have?

A Father of Five Kids

In total, John Mellencamp has five children: two daughters named Teddi Jo and Justice; and three sons named Hud, Speck, and Waylon. His kids range in age from early 20s to late 30s.

Children with First Wife Priscilla Esterline

Mellencamp married his first wife, Priscilla Esterline, in 1970 when he was just 18 years old. Together they had one child:

  • Daughter Teddi Jo Mellencamp: Born in 1981. Teddi Jo has largely stayed out of the spotlight unlike some of Mellencamp’s other kids. She did accompany him when he received the Woody Guthrie Prize in 2017.

Son With Second Wife Victoria Granucci

After divorcing Esterline in 1981, Mellencamp married his second wife Victoria Granucci just a few years later. They had one child together before ultimately divorcing in 1989:

  • Son Hud Mellencamp: Born in 1987, Hud is an aspiring actor living in California. He appeared in several films including Red Wing (2013) and Contagion Theory (2015).

Younger Children With Current Wife Elaine Irwin

In 1992, John Mellencamp married supermodel Elaine Irwin. They had two daughters over the next several years:

  • Daughter Justice Mellencamp: Born in 1992, Justice is currently a student at Columbia University. She occasionally accompanies her father at public events.
  • Daughter Michelle Mellencamp (“Speck”): Adopted by Mellencamp and Irwin in 1993. Speck has followed in her parents’ creative footsteps as an artist and photographer.

John’s marriage to Elaine Irwin ultimately ended in divorce in 2011. However, just two months after the divorce was finalized, Mellencamp had another surprise in store…

Son Waylon With Ex-Girlfriend Meg Ryan

In late 2011, shortly after his divorce from Irwin, Mellencamp began dating actress Meg Ryan. The couple had an on-again, off-again relationship over the next several years. During one of these reconciliations, Meg became pregnant unexpectedly at the age of 51. She gave birth to son Waylon Mellencamp in 2014:

  • Son Waylon Mellencamp: Born in 2014. Wayne has split his childhood largely between Indiana with his dad and New York with mom Meg Ryan. Both parents contribute to raising the 11-year-old.

While Mellencamp and Ryan broke up for good in 2015, they have apparently remained amicable co-parents to son Waylon.

What Mellencamp Has Said About Fatherhood

According to interviews over the years, John Mellencamp has prioritized fatherhood while still balancing his music career:

“I’ve always put my kids first… and I think it shows when you watch the growth. My family means more to me than anything.”

He also told PEOPLE magazine that having children at a young age impacted his songwriting:

“I became a parent at 21 which made me write more introspective songs early on.”

Despite divorces and rocky past relationships, Mellencamp has always made sure to include all his kids equally rather than favor biological children over adopted or step-children.


To summarize, rock icon John Mellencamp has five children – Teddi Jo, Hud, Justice, Speck, and Waylon – ranging from early 20s to late 30s in age. He had kids with three different women including his first and second wives Priscilla Esterline and Victoria Granucci, followed by more children with model Elaine Irwin and actress Meg Ryan.

Despite relationship challenges over the years, Mellencamp has prioritized his duties as a father and made sure all his children felt equally loved. This likely explains the lack of drama or scandal among his adult kids today. With his lifetime accolades now including the title of Dad to five children, Mellencamp continues to balance creative pursuits with family life.

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