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Kid Rock

From rockers like the MC5, Alice Cooper, and the White Stripes, to hip-hop artists like Eminem and Slum Village, to electronic gurus such as Juan Atkins and DJ Godfather, Detroit has produced a kaleidoscope of artists who have achieved worldwide acclaim. There's no shortage of topnotch musicians in that city, so it's no wonder that a teenage suburbanite named Bob Ritchie routinely ventured to Detroit most nights to hone his chops. Back in the early '90s, Ritchie, AKA Kid Rock, was all about being a hip-hopper. And while that style of music catapulted him to being at least an underground phenomenon among certain crowds, Rock didn't really become a global success until he ditched the rap aesthetic and focused on straight ahead rock. Considering it's his surname now, that part of his story is understandable. But Rock wasn't content just being a rocker. As he tours around the country now, he easily shifts among rap, rock, and country music, perhaps more fluidly than any other musician in history, and one gets the sense that, at 37, he's as comfortable with his profession as he's ever been. Sure he still parties like it's 1988 and is just as famous for the women he dates as he is for cold cocking Tommy Lee. But his music has found a rare niche market of honky-tonk, hillbilly, and hip-hop fans, which is rather clever when it comes to clocking dollars. If you dig any of those genres individually, then check out Kid Rock this week blending them all on stage live.

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Jonathan Cunningham

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