Mellencamp Inks With Columbia, To Release Book Of Paintings

In light of last week's announcement that drummer Kenny Aronoff was joining the Smashing Pumpkins for their upcoming tour, fans may be wondering what John Cougar Mellencamp -- whose band Aronoff has played in for the last two decades -- has been up to.

According to "Billboard," Mellencamp recently separated from Mercury Records, his label since 1987's "The Lonesome Jubilee, to sign a four-record deal with Columbia, which plans to ship its first Mellencamp album under the agreement this October or November.

The singer also plans to release a book, entitled "Mellencamp: Selected Paintings," on October 6 in conjunction with the new album. Mellencamp will also donate proceeds from the book, which compiles prints of 75 of his works, to the Save the Music Foundation, which helps fund music education programs in public schools.