I’ve seen Kid Rock and Hank Williams Jr. sing together several times. Can you tell me what their relationship is?
—Darlene L., Idaho
Would you believe that they are close friends? It’s true. Williams has said that he considers the Detroit-born rocker-rapper his “rebel son” and the two of them spend a good deal of time just hanging out, as well as singing together. The friendship began when Williams’ kids read an interview with Kid Rock. “My daughters are telling me, ‘This guy loves you.’ I said, ‘That rap guy?’ They said, ‘Yeah, he called you the most soulful white guy he’d ever seen.'” That’s when Williams decided he should contact him about doing a duet. Kid Rock, for his part, was a Williams fan back when he was still a youngster known as Bobby Ritchie. He and his dad both loved Williams, and went to see him in concert when Ritchie was 13. As a successful rap artist, he adapted his musical hero’s classic song, A Country Boy Can Survive, for his own audience—making it a tad raunchier in spots—and his fans loved it as much as he loved the original. Naturally, when Williams suggested meeting, Kid Rock agreed. Not only did he sing on Hank’s album, he also co-starred with Hank on a CMT concert and interview special called Crossroads, and appeared in his video, Naked Women and Beer. Their collaborations led to a whole new audience for Kid Rock, who notched up a hit on the country charts with his song Picture, a duet with Sheryl Crow.