Don McLean said during his Musicians Hall of Fame induction speech in November, "I'm not folk, I'm not rock, I'm not country - I'm just me."
McLean wrote "American Pie," which celebrated its 50th anniversary.
He started writing songs as a teenager and hasn't stopped since.
Since he was a kid, the 77-year-old has been drawn to music. McLean tried to sing along to Stephen Foster's "Beautiful Dreamer" as an infant.
In the late 1950s, McLean grew up in the mostly white, middle-class suburb of New Rochelle, New York.
In the aftermath of his father's death, McLean decided to focus on what he loved: performing, playing guitar, and writing music.