If Kid Rock had any trouble figuring out where he was, Saturday night, all he had to do was check his T-shirt, brightly emblazoned, “Detroit.” The partying rock star was one of an assortment of celebrities strutting the stage at General Motors second annual GM Style event, a celebration of cars and stars.
The Motor City native used every inch of the stage as he entertained a crowd of local celebrities, as well as hundreds of automotive journalists who turned out for the first big event of this year’s Detroit auto show.
Rock was accompanied by a procession of models – of both the two-legged and four-wheeled kind, the latter including the new 200 mph Corvette ZR1, which is expected to be one of the big hits of this year’s Detroit show.
GM staged its first Style event in 2007, an event officials said was meant to underscore the revival of the automaker’s once legendary styling studio. That renewed focus on design is clearly paying off, with four GM products up for honors in the North American Car and Truck of the Year competition, the winners of which will be announced during this year’s auto show.
For the first GM Style, the automaker struck pay dirt, landing a number of high-profile celebrities, including Jennifer Hudson, the actress and singer, who had just received an Oscar nomination for her work in the film "Dreamgirls."
This year’s talent included not only Kid Rock, but the Grammy Award-winning Mary J. Blige. The R&B singer, belting out her new hit, “Just Fine,” was accompanied on stage by a 1953 Chevrolet Corvette, as she opened the night’s entertainment. Performing a series of songs, she helped highlight several other GM products, including the new Buick Riviera Concept and Cadillac’s 2008 CTS sedan, one of the cars up for honors in the North American Car of the Year balloting.
While the cars might have been the stars, there was plenty of style, no matter what one’s taste. Models strolled and strutted down the runway wearing dozens of outfits by some of the hottest current designers, including Russell Simmons, Kevan Hall, and William Rast.
DJ Jacques provided sound for the design house, Royal Underground, while the group Maroon 5 accompanied a showing of high-fashion gowns and garb from Mark Zunino.
As each performance wrapped up, the designers took their own typical stroll down the runway. But the evening ended with a promenade by Ed Welburn, GM’s global styling chief, and the man helping steer the revival of the automaker’s own design house.2008 Detroit Auto Show Coverage Ford F-150, Hyundai Genesis and Corvette ZR1
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