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13 September 2021, 16:32
Best known for 'American Pie', Don McLean is one of the most successful singer-songwriters of his generation.
Don McLean's other famous songs include 'Vincent', 'Dreidel', a cover of Roy Orbison's 'Crying', 'Since I Don't Have You', 'And I Love You So' and 'Wonderful Baby'.
In 2004, Don was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and by 2018 'American Pie' and 'Vincent' had reached five million and three million airplays, respectively.
Full name Donald McLean III, he was born on October 2, 1945. He celebrated his 75th birthday in 2020.
His grandfather and father, both also named Donald McLean, had roots in Scotland.
His mother, Elizabeth Bucci, came from Abruzzo in central Italy.
Don McLean has been married twice, with both marriages ending in divorce.
His first wife was Carol Sauvion, who later won an Emmy Award for her PBS television series Craft in America.
The couple were married from 1969 to 1976 and had no children.
His second marriage was to Patrisha Shnier McLean from 1987 to 2016.
They have two children together: Jackie and Wyatt.
The end of their marriage saw Don McLean arrested and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, following an incident at their home.
No other details from the incident were reported at the time. He faced six charges, pleading guilty to four as part of a plea agreement. One of the four charges, domestic violence assault, was dismissed.
He paid about $3,000 in fines and was not sentenced to any jail time. He said that it had been "hard emotional times for my wife, my children and me... the very painful breakdown of an almost 30-year relationship. Our hearts are broken and we must carry on."
As of 2021, Don McLean is in a relationship with model Paris Dunn, who is 48 years younger than him.
Don's early musical influences included Frank Sinatra and Buddy Holly, and he then became interested in folk music, particularly the Weavers.
By 16, he had bought his first guitar and began making contacts in the business.
He attended night school and received a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1968. He then turned down a scholarship to Columbia University Graduate School, in order to pursue a career as a singer-songwriter.
Thanks to a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, Don started reaching a wider audience, and visited towns up and down the Hudson River.
Don recorded his debut album Tapestry in 1969. After being rejected 72 times by record labels, it was finally released by new label Mediarts.
After a lukewarm debut, by 1971 he released his seminal 'American Pie', and a year later his song 'And I Love You So' became a number 1 hit for Perry Como.
Don McLean has an estimated net worth of £36 million ($50m), according to Celebrity Net Worth.