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.

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