"Don McLean", (born October 2, 1945 in New Rochelle, New York) is an American singer-songwriter, most famous for his 1971 ballad "American Pie", about the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper. The song spawned the phrase "The Day the Music Died", referring to the day of the crash.
Other well-known songs include
*"And I Love You So" - covered by Elvis Presley, a 1973 hit for Perry Como
*"Vincent" (a tribute to the 19th century Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh)
*"Castles in the Air"
*"Wonderful Baby" (a tribute to Fred Astaire that Astaire himself recorded.)
*"Superman's Ghost" (a tribute to George Reeves, who portrayed Superman on TV in the 1950's)
Early in his career, McLean was mentored by the folk legend Pete Seeger, and accompanied Seeger on his Clearwater boat up the Hudson River in 1969 to protest at environmental pollution in the river. The Clearwater campaign was widely credited for improving water quality in the Hudson River.