CMT Music Awards Host Kid Rock Says He’ll Never Purposely Cut a Country Album

He Discusses Nashville, New Music and the All-Star Opening Number

After hosting the 2010 CMT Music Awards on Wednesday night (June 9) in Nashville, rapper and singer-songwriter Kid Rock was asked when he’ll put out a country album.

“Never!” he immediately replied. “Maybe I’ll put out a compilation one day of the stuff I’ve had country success with, but doing one thing in life at any point — when I love so many different things — seems boring and contrived for me. I’m not one of those people who came to Nashville, like, ’Oh, they know the numbers. They’re still playing records. This, that and the other. I’m going to go get in on that market.’ … I always just followed my heart to where the music was, and I hope that’s what I can continue to do. People can appreciate the realness of the songs I write and they feel it. I guess I’ve been blessed at the end of the day.”

Asked to rate his hosting ability, the eclectic musician replied, “I thought it was pretty good. My main thing was that I wanted to come in and put the stuff they had written on the teleprompter into my own words and maybe find some points to say what I feel and be real about it. But I didn’t want to be disrespectful at any moment. I just wanted to set the tone for everyone to have a good time. I think if you’re the host of anything — a captain of a ship, the host of a bonfire or whatever — you set the mood for the other people to have a good time. If I got that done, I think I did my job even if I flubbed a couple of words and my reading skills are not up to par, as we all found out.”

He continued, “I just hope I just set the tone for everyone else to have fun — and really keep it about the music. Everyone was wondering, ’What’s he going to do? Is he going to say something?’ I got that reputation from just being honest, but I never went into anything ill-heartedly and said something off-the-cuff on purpose or to be mean. I hope I never do.”

Kid Rock also talked about his upcoming album, Born Free, due Sept. 7.

“I just finished a record with [producer] Rick Rubin, and he really made us focus on the songs, which I always thought I was doing, but apparently I was always talking about myself and being a cowboy and a bad-ass,” he admitted. The Michigan-based musician also noted that Trace Adkins, Zac Brown, Sheryl Crow and Bob Seger will guest on the album and that one of the songs will feature “the most odd pair-up ever” of Martina McBride and rapper T.I. “I’m still scratching my head about that one,” he said.

Asked about the Nashville community’s response to flooding last month, Kid Rock replied, “I know the people of this community and this state pretty well. I feel at this point like I know mid-America well. I still live in rural Michigan out there. I pride myself in keeping in touch with the people, and I knew the people were going to handle it. They stepped in, and you saw neighbors helping neighbors. This is what’s supposed to happen, in my opinion, when disaster happens. … To watch the people of this town come together and help each other out was really endearing to me.”

He also took pride in assembling the show’s opening number with Adkins, Brown and McBride, as well as Randy Houser, Jamey Johnson, Kellie Pickler and Hank Williams Jr.

“We could never probably pull this off in another music genre because there would be egos flying,” he said. “The managers would be like, ’We need this much TV time. He’s not going to do that. We need a private jet.’ … I just called my friends myself, rather than producers and managers, and tried to sidestep the whole fiasco and tried to be really open about it, like, ’Hey, I understand if you don’t want to do this. It’s OK to say no.’ But everybody said yes and came together.”

He continued, “I don’t know if you know what it’s like trying to get Bocephus [Williams’ nickname] out of the house, but that really warmed my heart, more so above anything tonight. … He hates these things, and it showed me what a really true friend he is. He’s my rockin’ rebel father. For me to call him up and him to say, ’I’ll be there to sing your cow-man song,’ that really almost made me cry, I’ve got to be honest with you. He’s been such a good friend of mine over the years, and having him do that meant a lot to me tonight.”

Check out additional coverage from the 2010 CMT Music Awards.