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Published: Tuesday, 8/21/2012

Singer performs as grand marshal for NASCAR race

BLADE NEWS SERVICES
Kid Rock gives the command to start the drivers' engines before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pure Michigan 400 auto raceat Michigan International Speedway, Sunday. Kid Rock gives the command to start the drivers' engines before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Pure Michigan 400 auto raceat Michigan International Speedway, Sunday.
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BROOKLYN, Mich. — Michigan musician Kid Rock has added another moniker to his storied career: grand marshal.

The Grammy nominated, multiplatinum-selling rocker served as the Pure Michigan 400 grand marshal on Sunday at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

His duties included saying "Gentlemen, start your engines" to begin the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday afternoon.

Kid Rock was born Robert Ritchie. He's known for dabbling in musical styles from hip-hop and hard rock to country and Southern rock. He grew up in and lives in suburban Detroit.

On Saturday he helped surprise an injured soldier with a custom-built home that the musician helped finance. Rock and others were on hand to present the suburban Detroit house to Army Sgt. Davin Dumar and wife, Dana. The house was built by Pulte Group in Macomb County's Macomb Township. It's a gift to the Dumars from Pulte, Rock, and the nonprofit group Operation Finally Home.

Dumar lost a leg and injured his arm in Afghanistan in 2011.

Minaj to ‘Idol'?

Nicki Minaj sings about "Starships," but is she a star-maker? The singer-rapper could be joining the ranks of American Idol judges.

A person close to Minaj said Monday the 29-year-old entertainer has been in talks to judge the Fox TV competition and that a deal is in the works. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that person was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

Fox network said it had no comment.

If Minaj signs on, she would join Mariah Carey as a new judge on Idol, which returns in January. Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez announced their exits from the show last month.

Minaj — known for her colorful hairstyles, wardrobe, and antics — is best known for hits such as "Super Bass," "Starships," and "Turn Me On" with David Guetta.

Singer dies

Singer Scott McKenzie, who performed "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" — which became a hit in 1967 during the city's "Summer of Love" — has died.

A statement on McKenzie's Web site says the 73-year-old died on Saturday in Los Angeles. McKenzie battled Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a disease that affects the nervous system, and had been in and out of the hospital since 2010.

"San Francisco" was written by John Phillips, the leader of the 1960s group the Mamas and the Papas. But McKenzie sang it and it has stood as an anthem for the 1960s counterculture movement. McKenzie also co-wrote "Kokomo," a No. 1 hit for The Beach Boys in 1988.

Judd cancels concerts

Country singer Wynonna Judd has canceled a series of concerts in Canada following a serious motorcycle crash that injured her husband, the singer said in a statement on Sunday.

Judd's husband, Michael Scott Moser, and the singer had been on a ride together on separate motorcycles in Deadwood, S. D., when Moser collided with an oncoming vehicle. Judd was not involved in the accident.

She and Moser wed in June.

Another shot

You'll shoot your eye out when you hear this news: A Christmas Story, the beloved 1983 yuletide comedy, is getting a direct-to-DVD sequel.

A sardonic take on the all-American holiday, A Christmas Story followed 9-year-old Ralphie Parker's pursuit to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. The movie from Porky's director Bob Clark and writer and radio host Jean Shepherd attained cult status over the years.

A Christmas Story 2, directed by Brian Levant (The Flintstones) and written by Nat Mauldin (Dr. Dolittle) from Shepherd's stories, catches up with a now 15-year-old Ralphie, played by Braeden LeMasters of Men of a Certain Age, and stars Daniel Stern, the burglar from Home Alone, as the old man.

It premieres on Warner Bros. DVD Oct. 30.



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