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.
The signing apparently happened quickly enough that Kid Rock’s web store is still run through the Warner Bros. site, where, for the moment, fans can continue to buy “Kid Rock for Senate” T-shirts, in keeping with his recent announcement that he might (or might not) run for office in his home state of Michigan.
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…