BROOKLYN (WWJ/AP) - Michigan musician Kid Rock has a new moniker — at least for a day: Grand Marshal.
State officials announced Thursday that the Grammy nominated, multiplatinum-selling rocker will serve as this year’s Pure Michigan 400 Grand Marshal Aug. 19 at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
His duties will include saying “Gentlemen, start your engines” for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
State and race officials cited Kid Rock’s support of Michigan through his music and philanthropic efforts.
“Kid Rock is a tremendous ambassador for Michigan and a perfect fit to serve as Grand Marshal of the Pure Michigan 400… We are thrilled to have him join the fans at MIS,” George Zimmermann, with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, said in a statement.
Kid Rock, born Robert Ritchie, grew up in and currently lives in Metro Detroit. He’s sold more than 25 million records since his debut more than a decade ago.
As an entrepreneur, Kid Rock opened the American BadAss Beer Company in Michigan in July 2009, and refueled and became the face of the Made in Detroit brand and clothing line.
Kid Rock brought his philanthropy efforts together when he established the Kid Rock Foundation to raise funds for and provides resources to other non-profit organizations across Michigan and around the country, especially those working to aid disadvantaged children, victims of war and natural disasters, and those suffering from illness.
In 2009, Kid Rock established the Made in Detroit Endowed Scholarship through Wayne State University to help offset tuition costs of students from throughout southeastern Michigan who are selected for their academic achievements and limited financial resources. He also works closely with The Rainbow Connection to help fulfill wishes of children in Michigan who have life-threatening illnesses, and the Detroit-based Karmanos Cancer Institute.
As one of the country’s most ardent supporters of the United States military, Kid Rock works closely with Operation Homefront, the USO and Operation Happy Note, among other organizations, whose missions are to assist armed forces members and their families. He also regularly visits service members and has performed for troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Spain and Kosovo.
The Pure Michigan 400 will be the finale of the NASCAR weekend at MIS. Also included will be Gatorade Pole Day on Aug. 17 and the Camping World Trucks Series VFW 200 on Aug. 18.
For ticket information, visit www.mispeedway.com or call 800-354-1010.
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