Kid Rock derives his name from his early years of
rapping in parking lots and bars, when, so Kid Rock
says, people in the audience would remark, "Look at that
white kid rock." He dropped "white," and his stage name
was born. He began his hip-hop career at the age of 15.
He became well-known in a Mount Clemens, Michigan
housing project because of his unique style of rapping.
He later moved to New York City, where he was said to
have lived just below Queen Latifah. He got to know a
lot of the area's rappers and landed a tour deal with
Ice Cube and Too $hort when he was only 18 years old.
One time in 1991, Kid Rock drew 700 people to The Majestic in Detroit. This show was talked about constantly in the local scene for almost three years.
In 1989, his first album, on the Jive label, was Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast, produced by Too $hort, D Nice and others. This defined his outlandish attitude, although the album was not a success. When a college DJ played the song from his album "Yodelin' in the Valley," he was fined $25,000 by the FCC. The president of the university described the song as "the most indecent thing ever heard". After the release of his first album, Rock attended an autograph signing at Record Time in Roseville, Michigan to promote his CD. While there, a young musician got into an argument with him over his rise to fame. This young musician was 17-year-old Marshall Mathers III, who later became famous under the name of Eminem. The two formed a friendship that exists to this day, with each appearing on the others' first successful albums (Eminem doing the last verse of F--- Off on Devil Without A Cause and Rock doing the cuts on Just Don't Give A F--- from The Slim Shady LP).
In 1993 The Polyfuze Method was released. In 1996, Early Morning Stoned Pimp dropped along with the EP, Fire it Up.
After a whole decade from his first demo, in 1998, he joined Atlantic Records and released his famous album Devil Without a Cause. This was his first real success with the album going 11x platinum in the US, almost becoming one of the top 50 top selling albums ever. The Detroit Red Wings, after their victory, chose the opening phrase from "Early Morning Stoned Pimp" as their victory chant. Further testament to Rock's popularity came in the unexpected form of singer Bette Midler doing a pastiche of his hit single Bawitdaba (in a scat style) on her television sitcom.
In 2000, Kid Rock released his album The History of Rock. He had acquired the rights to his indie-label recordings and remixed or re-recorded the best material for the album. The only new track was "American Bad Ass" which was his first single from the album. Later that year, he joined legendary rock band Phish onstage for several songs at a concert in Las Vegas.
In 2001 he released his album Cocky which was marketed as the follow up to his 1998 success. It featured all new songs, but did not reach the same level of success due to many fans not appreciating his fusion of country music into many of the tracks. However, his most successful single on the album was in fact the most country influenced. Rock has gained country music acclaim for such notable performances as "Picture", a duet with Sheryl Crow; his performance of "Luckenbach, Texas" on the Waylon Jennings tribute album I've Always Been Crazy; and his appearance on Country Music Television's Crossroads episode with Hank Williams, Jr..
In 2002, Kid Rock released a cover of ZZ Top's "Legs" exclusively for the album on WWE's SmackDown Records titled Forceable Entry. The song is still used on WWE television to this day.
In 2003, Kid Rock returned with a self-titled album which delved even more into country music. A cover of Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love" marked the first single.
Kid Rock's talent can be shown by the fact that on his albums he is credited for not only vocals but guitar (steel, rhythm, electric and acoustic), bass, percussion, mixing, mellotron, keyboard, backing vocals, slide guitar, scratching, programming, producer and even banjo. He is famous for his high-energy personality on and off stage. Kid Rock's music has evolved considerably over time which has caused him to lose and gain millions of fans.
Recently, Kid Rock has made cameo appearances in two of Gretchen Wilson's music videos for the songs "Redneck Woman" and "All Jacked Up".
Kid Rock is currently preparing to release a live album, compiled of songs from several different shows instead of just one, including the shows he did overseas. The album, which is titled "Live Trucker", will be released on February 28, 2006. The album's cover pays tribute to Bob Seger by replicating the cover of his live album "Live Bullet" released in 1976.
A new studio album from Kid Rock is also in the works. The current rumor is that there will not be much, if any, rap on it, because Kid Rock apparently wants to release 'the ultimate classic rock album'. The album is supposedly titled, "...and then there was Kid" and will include a DVD. The new album has no release date as of yet, but it is estimated that it will be out by the third quarter of 2006.
Kid Rock has one son, Robert James Ritchie Jr.; born June 14, 1993 with Kelly South, a Detroit auto worker. In the fall of 2001, Kid Rock began dating actress and model Pamela Anderson. In April 2002, they announced their engagement but during the fall of 2003, Kid Rock and Anderson broke up.
Kid Rock is also unique among musical artists of his genre as he has outspoken conservative-leaning political views. His main failure has been that he is a supporter of US President George W. Bush. While this made him seem like an ideal candidate for participation in the 2004 Republican National Convention concert, it is generally assumed that his lyrical content, which is rife with profanity and s--ual innuendo, discluded his participation in the event. He was also scheduled to perform during the re-inauguration party of President Bush, though this was cancelled, apparently for similar reasons- Kid Rock spoke of "pimping Barbara Bush," the President's mother, on a song earlier in his music career.
California pornography company Red Light District claim to have acquired a 1999 s-- tape in which Kid Rock and Creed front man Scott Stapp engage in s-- acts with four groupies which they plan to release in 2006. Counsel for Kid Rock and Scott Stapp have obtained a temporary injunction against Red Light District to prevent the video from being distributed online.