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2 October 1945, New Rochelle, New York, USA. McLean began his recording career performing in New York clubs during the early 60s. A peripatetic singer for much of his career, he was singing at elementary schools in Massachusetts when he wrote a musical tribute to Van Gogh in 1970. After receiving rejection slips from countless labels, his debutTapestry was issued by Mediarts that same year, but failed to sell. United Artists Records picked up his contract and issued an eight-minute plus version of American Pie. A paean to Buddy Holly, full of symbolic references to other performers such as Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan, the song topped the US chart and reached number 2 in the UK. The album of the same name topped the US charts and an enormous worldwide success. Another song featured on the album, Vincent, a tribute to the painter, reached UK number 1. McLean was now acclaimed as one of the most talented and commercial of the burgeoning...