Don McLean is one of the greatest singer-songwriters with such songs as “American Pie”, “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)”, “Castles in the Air”, “And I Love You So”, “Crossroads”, “The Grave” and many more. Vocal renditions of Roy Orbison’s “Crying”, “Mountains of Mourne” and “Since I Don’t Have You” have been noted as the greatest versions of these songs. Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. His songs have been recorded by artists from every musical genre, most notably Madonna‘s No. 1 recording of “American Pie” in 2000 and George Michael’s version of “The Grave” in 2003, sung in protest at the Iraq War. Don McLean is co-writer of Drake’s 2011 release, “Doing it Wrong“.
In 2007, Don McLean shared his life story in Alan Howard’s biography, The Don McLean Story: Killing Us Softly With His Songs.
Don continues to tour North America and the rest of the world – including UK/Europe in 2012, Australia in 2013 and two UK and Europe tours in one year in 2015. In June 2011, he performed for an audience of 100,000 at the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts.
Latest concert review (“Flawless“):
Performing “Vincent” with Ed Sheeran
On Tour (Europe and North America):
Following an extremely successful summer European tour, Don McLean returns home to the U.S. ready to hit the American tour circuit again in July, and then returning to Europe again in October for a fall run of shows. “My tour of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales has ended. I never enjoyed an experience more than this. Many thanks to the very kind reviewers and the enthusiastic audiences that made this tour the best of all. send my love & sincere thanks. We will be back again someday.”
“His masterpiece remains one of the great achievements of the singer-songwriter era: eight and a half minutes of allegory, reflection and melody documenting the history of rock’n’roll and the death of 1950s innocence. He played it, of course, and brilliantly, getting everyone creaking on to their feet and singing along. Before that came almost two hours of well-worn rock’n’roll and acoustic folk that placed McLean somewhere between a straight-up entertainer and a poetic maverick.”
– Marilynn Kingwell, The Times
“A sprawling rumination on counter-culture’s impact on the American dream. One-by-one, the largely baby boomer audience sprung up like popping corn, singing every word and confirming American Pie as their Hey Jude or Wonderwall.”
– James Hall, The Telegraph
“McLean’s own Castles in the Air is lovely, and hearing him sing ‘Vincent’ – his youthful eulogy to Van Gogh – is magical, a bucket-list moment.”
– Dave Simpson, The Guardian
“McLean has earned his place at rock’s hall of fame, and York’s sell-out crowd would have him playing still.”
– Paul Rhodes, The Press
“McLean was the consummate professional in presenting his master class of the Great American Songbook.”
– David Brinn, Jerusalem Post
“McLean’s songs have set the benchmark for success. Hits like ‘American Pie’, ‘Vincent’, ‘Castles in the Air’ and the beautiful ballad ‘And I Love You So’ all share the same elusive component that makes them timeless.”
– Lorraine Wylie, Irish Examiner
“It’s Not Unusual” – Don’s BBC radio performance
The new album: Botanical Gardens
Preceding a 32-date UK and Ireland tour, ‘Botanical Gardens’, Don’s 19th studio album and first in 8 years, is arguably one of his most reflective to date. As he puts it, “The inspiration for the project started years ago when I would walk in the beautiful gardens in Sydney Australia near the Opera House. I would dream young dreams and it was a comfort and an inspiration. I was always young inside, like we all are, and I felt it again there.”
Further reflecting on the record, Don says, “the whole album really revolves around the title song. Later on I realized that the gardens are really a metaphorical heaven, and there’s a kind of death and rebirth.”
Intimacy can be found at the heart of this record, with Don penning personal numbers looking back on a life well lived, as well as his observations on youth and love. Recording at Watershed Studios in Nashville also allowed a different kind of intimacy for Don and his band, as they were made to “play close and feel the music”, resulting in a raw, yet tight sound throughout. Don proves his prowess at writing timeless sounding songs once again, as the album weaves country, Americana, folk, and boot stomping rock in this release
Order now with Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and more and visit Don’s new Pledge store for exclusive signed copies of the CD, vinyl and tour posters.
BMI Multi Million-Air Awards
January, 2018: Don McLean has been honored with two awards from BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.), recognizing his long-standing career and outstanding contributions to the music industry through the iconic hits “American Pie” and “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night).” Among the honors he received were five million certified airplays for “American Pie” and three million certified airplays for “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night).”
Don says: “I was delighted to receive certifications from BMI of these millions of airplays for my songs ‘Vincent’ and ‘American Pie’. I sincerely thank the radio folks out there and the public for their loyalty to me and my music for so many years. I am very thankful to everybody.”