“I do not believe that artists or actors and people should be out there like
voicing their full-blown opinions on politics because, let’s face it, at the end
of the day, I’m not that smart of a guy. I play Rock ‘n’ Roll, that's what I do.
Who would you trust to make your decisions, Donald Rumsfeld or the Dixie
Chicks?” Kid Rock
American rapper, singer, rock musician and actor Kid Rock, born Robert James
Ritchie, received widespread popularity with his diamond certified album Devil
without a Cause (1998), which spawned the mainstream hit “Bawitdaba.” He has
since established a fruitful career with multi-platinum albums like The History
of Rock (2000) and Cocky (2001) and the double-platinum Kid Rock (2003). Rock
recently made his return to the music industry with the live album Live Trucker.
Rock branched out to acting in 2001 with the comedy Joe Dirt, opposite David
Spade, and in 2003, he added Reggie Rock Bythewood’s Biker Boyz to his acting
resume. Additionally, he did voice-over work for ”The Simpsons” (2000), Osmosis
Jones (2001) and “King of the Hill” (2002).
Off screen, Rock is known for his frank political views and is a loyal supporter
of U.S. President George W. Bush. On a negative note, he is recognized for
creating controversy. The California pornography company Red Light District was
stated to have a 1999 sex video where the rap-rocker and ex-Creed frontman Scott
Stapp were involved in sex acts with four groupies. The tape is set to be
released this year. Rock’s attorneys have reached a faltering agreement to
extend a judge’s order blocking the release of the sex video.
As for his private life, the owner of an $800,000, three-story home in
Nashville, Tennessee, Rock became headlines for having a traitorous affair with
former Playboy pin-up of TV’s “Baywatch” and “VIP” Pamela Anderson while she was
still married to musician Tommy Lee. The two met at the VH1 Diva’s Live concert
in 2001 and later became engaged before finally splitting up in 2003. The 6’ 1”
tall singer has also been involved with model/actress James King (separated in
late 2000), Kelley Russell and Detroit autoworker Kelly South, with whom he
shares a son.
Childhood and Family:
In Romeo, Michigan, Robert James Ritchie, who would later be famous as Kid Rock,
was born on January 17, 1971. The attractively seedy, hard-rocking star derived
his name from his early years when he rapped in parking lots and night clubs and
the audiences said, ”Watch that white kid rock!”
Kid Rock, who carried the nicknames Bob or Bobby, is the son of Susan Ritchie
and the brother of actress Jill Ritchie. He is also the close friend of NHL
superstars Chris Chelios and Sergei Fedorov. Kid and ex-lover Kelly South have a
son named Robert James Ritchie Jr. (born on June 14, 1993).
Kid Rock entered the hip-hop scene when he was 15 and soon became a favorite in
the Mt. Clemens housing project due to his distinctive style of rapping. A
native of Romeo, Michigan , Rock later relocated to New York City and by the
time he was 18, he had signed a tour contract with musicians like Ice Cube and
Too $hort. The same year, he also launched a debut album called Grits Sandwiches
for Breakfast, co-produced by Too $hort, D Nice and others under the Jive label.
Despite the commercial failure, the album clearly established Rock’s eccentric
attitude. One of the album’s tracks, “Yodelin’ in the Valley,” was banned from
radio and even referred to by a college president as “the most indecent thing
ever heard.” When a university DJ played the song, he was fined $25,000 by the
Four years after the release of his initial album, Rock’s sophomore effort, The
Polyfuze Method, hit the music stores in 1993. The album spawned a single, “Back
from the Dead,” which peaked at No. 20 on the Central Michigan University Hot
Rap Tracks. It was followed by his EP called Fire It Up in 1994 and his next
albums, Early Mornin Stoned Pimp in 1996 and The Polyfuze Method Revisited in
However, Rock didn’t acquire mainstream success until he joined Atlantic Records
in 1998 and released the much-liked album, a fusion of metal and hip-hop, Devil
without a Cause. It was a great victory for the rapper since the album received
11-times platinum certifications in the U.S. One of its tracks, the hit “Bawitdaba,”
rocketed to No. 1 on the Modern Rock chart and became a Top Ten hit in
Mainstream Rock. Additionally, it also produced such hits as “Wasting Time” (Arc
Top 40: #34, Mainstream Rock: #35), “Only God Knows Why” (Billboard Hot 100:
#19, Top 40: #5, Top 40 Tracks: #6, Arc Top 40:#6, Mainstream Rock: #13, Modern
Rock: #5), “Cowboy” (Billboard Hot 100: #82, Top 40: #34, Arc Top 40: #14,
Mainstream Rock: #5, Modern Rock: #10) and "I Am The Bullgod" (Mainstream Rock:
#31). The massive victory of Devil without a Cause subsequently made Rock a
favorite among music fans.
This highly successful album, combined with Rock’s frank and compelling persona,
was enough for Hollywood to come calling. The singer was soon hired to voice the
animated version of himself in ”The Simpsons” (2000) and later “King of the
Hill” (2002). He also appeared as a musical guest in an episode of the popular
“Saturday Night Live” (2000).
As for music, Rock collected tracks from his previous albums and recorded the
only new song, “American Bad Ass,” for his compilation album, The History of
Rock (2000). Although it didn’t earn the same success as Devil without a Cause,
the album sold 3 million copies in the U.S. He fared better with his 2001 album,
the multi-platinum selling Cocky, in which Rock blended county music into many
of his tracks. Containing the Gold Single “Picture” (a duet with country star
Sheryl Crow), and other popular songs like “Lonely Road Of Faith,” “Forever” and
“You Never Met A Motherf-cker Quite Like Me,” the album became Rock’s second
best selling album with 5 millions units sold in the U.S.
After the release of Cocky, Rock released a cover of ZZ Top’s “Legs” solely for
the album on WWE’s SmackDown Records, Forceable Entry. He didn’t make a comeback
into the music scene until 2003 when he launched a self-titled album, Kid Rock,
which explored country music more. Its first track was a cover of Bad Company’s
“Feel Like Makin’ Love.”
Meanwhile, Kid Rock also tried his hand in acting by taking a supporting part in
the David Spade comedy vehicle Joe Dirt (2001), where he was seen as Robby. He
also provided the voice of Kidney Rock in the less-adored, animated biological
feature Osmosis Jones (2001) before being seen in the Reggie Rock Bythewood-helmed
Biker Boyz (2003), an action film which starred Laurence Fishburne, Derek Luke
and Orlando Jones.
On February 28, 2006, Rock returned to the hip-hop scene with his first live
album, Live Trucker, which sold 113,000 copies on its first month of release.
The album consists of many different shows, including some done overseas. Its
cover pays compliments to fellow Michigan rocker Bob Seger by duplicating the
cover of Seger’s 1976 album Live Bullet.