DETROIT — Kid Rock donated a total of $50,000 Monday to five Detroit area charities, fulfilling a promise the musician made to support his hometown.
Rock announced the donation earlier this month during the Detroit NAACP branch's annual fundraising dinner. Some had criticized Rock, who received the group's Great Expectations Award, for displaying the Confederate flag during on-stage performances.
During his acceptance speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Rock said his use of the flag had nothing to do with how he feels about blacks, and he pulled out the checks and said he would give them to the five groups. He officially handed over the money during an afternoon ceremony at Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's office.
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After Bing praised Rock's generosity and turned the proceedings over to him, the musician stepped to the podium, looked around and asked: "What am I supposed to do?"
Bing laughed and quickly said: "You can write some more checks if you want to."
"I can do that!" Rock said.
The money donated Monday will support city recreation centers, a conservancy on Belle Isle, a youth theater group, a youth training agency and Habitat for Humanity.
Rock, who was born Robert Ritchie and grew up in Macomb County, Mich., is known for dabbling in a variety of musical styles, from hip-hop and hard rock to country and Southern rock. He counts as his biggest hits, "Picture," "All Summer Long," "Bawitdaba" and "Born Free."
The 40-year-old also is known for his philanthropy and love of the Detroit area. At Monday's event, he sported a baseball cap featuring the logo of his "Made in Detroit" apparel line.
"I'm just happy I could do it. I've been blessed and very successful," Rock said. "This city and its surrounding areas have given me a lot."
Asked how the kids at the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit reacted when they heard about Rock's gift, founder and chief executive Rick Sperling, said "they were over the moon."
Judith Jackson, president and chief executive of YouthVille Detroit, was equally pleased with her group's gift and thankful for its benefactor.
"It means an awful lot," she said. "It's tough for all nonprofits right now."
Bing used the occasion to point out that Detroiters of all different socio-economic backgrounds, not just well-off rock stars, have the ability to give back to their community.
"We need more people like this who just care about people," Bing said. "All of us aren't blessed with the kind of resources he has, but we have to respect and appreciate people who have the resources and are willing to share it."
Rock hinted that more donations could be on the way.
"This is just the start," he said.
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