Name at birth: Robert James Ritchie
A self-proclaimed redneck from the midwestern United States, Kid Rock turned a catchy mix of rap and country-influenced hard rock into pop stardom with his 1998 release Devil Without A Cause. He grew up near Detroit, Michigan, but in 1991 he moved to New York City to further his career. Although he had landed his first record contract in 1990, record labels weren't quite sure how to promote a white rapper who blended heavy metal and country rock. His albums The Polyfuze Method (1993) and Early Mornin' Stone Pimp (1996) featured lyrics too nasty to play on the radio, but relentless touring and a gift for self-promotion earned Kid Rock a cult following. By 1999 he and his band, Twisted Brown Trucker, were performing in arenas and causing sparks on MTV. In 2000 Kid Rock released The History of Rock, a collection of re-mixes and older material. He began dating actress Pamela Anderson in 2001; they became engaged in April of 2002, ended their relationship in 2003, then reunited and married in July of 2006. Four months later both he and Anderson filed for divorce.
Kid Rock’s 3’9″ sidekick, Joe C., died of Celiac disease in November of 2000.