"American Pie" is a song by American folk rock singer-songwriter Don McLean. Recorded and released on the American Pie album in 1971, the single was a number-one U.S. hit for four weeks in 1972. In the UK the single reached No. 2 on its original 1972 release and a reissue in 1991 reached No. 12. The song is a recounting of "The Day the Music Died" — the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper (Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr.)—and the aftermath. The song was listed as the No. 5 song on the RIAA project Songs of the Century. "American Pie" is considered Don McLean's magnum opus and his signature song.