Kid Rock Pays Off $81,000 in Layaways at Nashville Walmart

Grab a tissue, it’s about to get a little misty.

Kid Rock, a.k.a. Robert Ritchie a.k.a. Santa Claus

Kid Rock (real name Robert Ritchie) blew the minds of customers at a Nashville Walmart when he summarily paid off $81,000 in layaways—making Christmas bright for 350 families.

Rock was inspired by the actions of actor, producer, and writer Tyler Perry.

Perry admitted in a video posted on Twitter that he paid off layaway balances at a couple of Georgia Walmarts. Rock followed suit the next day at his local store (he lives in nearby Whites Creek, TN). To say that he blew the minds of Walmart staff and customers would be an understatement.

The Tennessean interviewed store manager Tom Meyer:

It was a shocking, cool moment for Meyer, he said. And he said it has been an awesome experience letting customers know their accounts have been paid off. The items on lawaway are likely Christmas gifts, since the store only offers the program during the holiday season, Meyer said.

The layaway customers, who have been coming into the store as a result of Rock’s gesture, were wearing shocked and smiling faces, Meyer said. Each one is being handed a card explaining that Kid Rock made the payment on their behalf, he said.

“Merry Christmas from your neighbor!” the cards read.

Rock stepped down from acting as Grand Marshal for Nashville’s Dec. 1 Christmas Parade after controversy over remarks he made on Fox News and was replaced by Waffle House shooting hero James Shaw. A cynic might say this gesture was an attempt to rehabilitate the rapper’s public image, but he’s never been big on caring too much about what others thought in the first place. 

And among those 350 families Rock’s gesture likely inspired plenty of heartwarming stories and good will, anyway. Woody and Autumn Nuccio probably had the most uplifting, given that the generosity came from a famous musician.

The Nuccios were stuck, facing a toy-free Christmas for their kids, foregoing what they had on layaway in order to pay their rent, reported the Tennessean. With Rock’s payoff they were able to pick up a very special item they’d set aside for their son.

“He bought my son his first guitar,” Woody Nuccio said.


In the end, it doesn’t even matter if a celeb plays Santa for publicity—it’s Christmastime and people are happy, and that can go a long way.