He may hail from up north in Michigan, but Kid Rock has a country soul.
Born Robert James Ritchie, the polarizing entertainer is one of the most successful acts in the rap/rock/hip hop pantheon, but has also been embraced by country fans who’ve connected with such hits as “All Summer Long” and the Sheryl Crow duet “Picture.”
Kid Rock’s rise to fame can be traced back to his early days in the late ’80s performing with a hip-hop group called the Beast Crew. By the time he was 17, he had signed with Jive Records and released his first solo album, “Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast.” Kid Rock continued recording for different labels, releasing additional albums and steadily building his fan base.
His 1998 breakthrough album, “Devil Without a Cause,” sold 14 million copies and spawned the hit single “Bawitdaba.” His follow up album, “Cocky,” included “Picture,” a country ballad that earned him his first taste of crossover success. He continued to court country music fans when he invited outlaw David Allan Coe to open on his 2001 “American Bad Ass” tour. In 2003, he contributed to I’ve Always Been Crazy: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings,” recording “Luckenbach, Texas” with Kenny Chesney.
In 2007, Kid Rock released his seventh studio album, “Rock N Roll Jesus,” which became his first to hit No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. The hit single from that album, “All Summer Long” became a multi-format smash. In subsequent years, his albums “Born Free,” “First Kiss” and “Sweet Southern Sugar” have featured a decidedly more country flavor. The latter album, released in late 2017, marks his first release since signing with Nashville-based Broken Bow Records.
Kid Rock divides his time between homes in his native Michigan and a sprawling spread outside Nashville. Kid Rock has one son, Robert James Ritchie Jr., and a granddaughter. Though frequently touted as an “American Bad Ass,” the role Kid Rock relishes most these days is doting grandpa. He is engaged to longtime girlfriend Audrey Berry.
In addition to music and family, he also has a passion for politics and is an outspoken Republican. He teased fans in 2017 by hinting he would run for the U.S. Senate, but later claimed it was a hoax. Whether sharing his political views or writing a new song, Kid Rock never hesitates to speak his mind, which has proven a surefire way to keep fans guessing and engaged.