It may be premature to dub him Kid Country. But Kid Rock has cemented his love affair with Nashville by signing a deal to have his music released by Music City’s BBR Music, home to country hitmakers like Jason Aldean and Dustin Lynch, and BMG’s L.A. office, which will presumably continue to work his music to the rock market.
The move puts an end to Kid Rock’s nearly two-decade affiliation with the Warner Music Group, which released his 11-times-platinum “Devil Without a Cause” in 1998. The singer/rapper switched from Atlantic to sister label Warner Bros. for his last release with the label group, “Final Kiss,” which debuted at No. 2 on the SoundScan chart in February 2015.
Signing with a Nashville label may seem inevitable after his long courting of the country audience, whose increasing taste for Southern rock mirrors his own, even if they’ve come at it from differing directions. Kid Rock has long been a staple of country festivals like California’s Stagecoach. His forays into the radio format have been sporadic, but he made it to No. 4 in 2008 with his multi-genre smash “All Summer Long,” and was nominated for a CMA Award in 2003 for his duet with Sheryl Crow, “Picture.”
The singer is a feather in the cap of BBR, the home of Broken Bow and several other imprints, which rose on the success of Aldean over the last decade to become the most successful Nashville indie since Big Machine. In January of this year, Bertelsmann’s BMG announced it had acquired BBR, picking up a roster of youngish country stars like Granger Smith, Chase Rice, and Parmalee in the process.
Executives from the companies were not immediately available for comment on how they’ll divide duties on future Kid Rock projects. Rock hasn’t yet addressed the change of affiliation on his website, which was last updated on July27 with an announcement that, while he wasn’t yet sure whether he would officially run for office, “One thing is for sure though… The Democrats are ‘shattin’ in their pantaloons right now… and rightfully so!”
Despite that antagonism, he still has some Democratic friends, like erstwhile duet partner Crow, who last month released a song on social media, “Dude I’m Still Alive,” with several verses devoted to her pal — like: “Maybe Mr. Ritchie can fix some things for us/ Like making sure Detroit is set to make an electric tour bus/ At least the guy’s not 90, in his 32nd term/ But a pole in the Lincoln bedroom is bound to make some people squirm.”