Growing up in small-town Michigan, Robert James Ritchie found an escape and creative outlet in music. Ritchie changed his name to Kid Rock and began recording in 1988, and yet it would take him 10 years to find mainstream success. His 1998 album, “Devil Without a Cause,” eventually cracked the Top Five nationwide, landing Kid Rock on the cover of magazines everywhere.

Although he struggled for a decade, Kid Rock never gave up. He was dropped by his first record label, ridiculed by critics, and sometimes short on rent money, but Rock kept re-inventing himself and refining his music until he found the loud, over-the-top persona that would lead to superstardom.

Kid Rock’s story is part of “The Common Thread,” a book and motivational project from fine arts and entertainment entrepreneur Jerry Gladstone. The goal of the project, says Jerry Gladstone, is to inspire readers through stories of how successful people overcame obstacles and hardships in their personal and professional lives.
 
 
With over twenty-five years of fine art publishing and licensing experience, Jerry Gladstone has interviewed numerous celebrities throughout his career. Gladstone will be publishing The Common Thread Project, a book that features notables such as Randy Couture discussing how they overcame hardship to achieve success. 

Born in 1963, Randy Couture earned recognition as one of the biggest names in mixed martial arts history. Studying the fighting form as a youth, Couture also learned about wrestling and boxing before joining the United States Army. Following his service, he performed as an alternate for the US Wrestling Team across three Olympic Games.

After spending several years as a coach at Oregon State University, Randy Couture entered professional fighting in 1997 by joining the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Becoming one of the franchise’s most renowned figures, he participated in the King of Kings II tournament throughout Japan and won titles in the heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions. Moreover, Couture obtained roles in movies such as Cradle 2 the Grave and Invincible. Since retiring from the sport in 2007, Randy Couture has opened a chain of fitness centers known as Xtreme Couture MMA. He also continues to act, with performances in The Expendables and The Expendables 2.