When Alan Jackson pointed the finger at musical carpetbaggers with 1994's "Gone Country," it's doubtful he could have predicted how many rock and pop musicians would make the plunge into his beloved genre in the new millennium. Foremost among the culprits is Kid Rock, who headlines the Schottenstein Center on Friday with special guest Jamey Johnson.
Rock rose to stardom in the late '90s as a trailer trash rap-rocker and a proud urban redneck. As Detroit musicians go, he was one part Eminem, one part Ted Nugent.
From the beginning, Rock professed his country-western bona fides: "I'm a cowboy, baby." Later, "American Bad Ass" exuded the kind of big-stick machismo you'd expect from Toby Keith. It was only a matter of time before Rock was singing twangy ballads on CMT.
Though Rock's headstrong and cocksure demeanor was an obvious fit for the country demographic, he's not the only musician to make the genre migration; the road from "Bawitdaba" to "Born Free" is well-traveled. Here's a look at other stars that have crossed over to country stardom in recent years.
Sheryl Crow: Her duet with Rock, "Picture," was a smash hit on the pop charts, but it also opened a door to the country world.
Early indicator: Breakthrough hit "All I Wanna Do" is bathed in pedal steel.
Darius Rucker: The former Hootie & the Blowfish frontman struck it big with a series of country solo albums, spawning hits like "Don't Think I Don't Think About It" and "Come Back Song."
Early indicator: Hootie hailed from the Deep South, so it was only a matter of time, right?
Jewel: After racking up huge sales with folk-pop and taking a brief but successful detour into dance-pop (remember "Intuition"?), the itinerant Alaskan topped the country charts with her album "Perfectly Clear" in 2008.
Early indicator: Yodeling.
Uncle Kracker: Basically Kid Rock lite.
Early indicator: Kracker has always been in Rock's shadow, but it bears mentioning that hit country ballad "Follow Me" dates all the way back to 2000 debut album "Double Wide."
Michelle Branch: The pop-rocker teamed with Jessica Harp to form chart-topping country duo The Wreckers in 2005.
Early indicator: Branch got her start covering songs by Jewel and Sheryl Crow, so country crossover was part of her pedigree.
Jessica Simpson: After she rose to fame as a pop singer and reality TV star, Simpson made the jump to country in 2008. Her country album "Do You Know" debuted atop the Billboard country chart.
Early indicator: Simpson starred as Southern sexpot Daisy Duke in the 2005 "Dukes of Hazzard" remake.