Gerardo Mora, Getty Images
"My son is going to Belmont (University) now, and I'm all alone," Kid Rock told his Nashville audience at the city's famed Ryman Auditorium. "I was sitting at home trying to figure out what the hell do I do now? So I finally thought to myself, the one thing I love beyond friends and family is music. So why don't we get back to the music we love and go out and do something good for people?
"I started a charity a few years ago (the Kid Rock Foundation, based in Detroit), and there are a lot of good people in Detroit who need help," he continued. "But I decided to go out and play music in its most honest form, take some money and give it to our neighbors. By the time this tour is over, we will have given $375,000 to friends in these cities through the Foundation."
In Nashville, donations went to Gilda's Club, Best Buddies and Nashville Rescue Mission. Charities receiving funds in Denver were Safe House Denver, Excelsior Youth Center and Bikers Against Child Abuse. Also in Denver, Kid Rock gave a $5,000 check to a 17-year old Kentucky girl, Josie Krammes, to help pay for her enrollment in Lafayette-based Catalyst Alternative Private High School. The girl sees it as a second chance at life, which she plans to use to help other troubled teens.
The musician's stop in Kansas City helped out El Centro and Helping Hands Ministries. And so it went in all the cities where he played, engaging his audience at smaller venues while spreading smiles to folks in need. His backdrop for the tour was simply a huge banner with 'Care' written across it in large letters, surrounded by things he cared about including "Mother Earth, The Troops, The Working Class, My God, My Son Peace and Quiet, My Personal Integrity, Bringing the Troops Home."
"I can do this because of you, and I thank you for it," Kid Rock told the audience in Nashville. "I know all of you don't have everything in common, but you came here to enjoy music, so turn around and high five someone you don't know and let's get back to it."
Kid Rock was able to make donations on his tour despite the smaller venues he chose to play, because a group of Detroit businessmen agreed to match the ticket sales in each city. Kid Rock was quick to point out that all the money that goes into his Kid Rock Foundation is used for charity; none of it goes to pay salaries or other incidentals. He did pay his band and road crew on this tour, but as he put it, "I can afford to go out and do a few shows and give back to folks who need a little help."
The 'Care' tour wraps up this Friday, Dec. 9, in Indio, Calif.
Fans can watch Kid Rock Sunday, Dec. 11 on 'CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.' Hosted by Anderson Cooper, the show will honor individuals who are making extraordinary contributions to help improve the lives of others. Others scheduled to appear include Miley Cyrus, will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas, 'Dancing With the Stars' winner J.R. Martinez, founder of Every Mother Counts Christy Turlington Burns and NFL Super Bowl champ and MVP quarterback Kurt Warner. The special will air live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on CNN, Dec. 11 at 8:00 PM ET.
Kid Rock is already working on a new album, tentatively titled 'Chillin' the Most,' which will be released in 2012.