.

Joe C. Dead at Twenty-Six

Kid Rock sidekick Joe C. dies at age twenty-six

November 17, 2000 12:00 AM ET

Joseph Calleja, better known in the music world as Joe C., died in his sleep Thursday night at his home in Taylor, Mich.; he was twenty-six. The Detroit rapper was best known for his work as part of part of the carnivalesque ensemble that was Kid Rock's backing group, Twisted Brown Trucker.

"I'm Not a Fucking Midgit!" read a t-shirt that Joe C. (who claimed to be three-foot-nine, but armed with "a ten-foot dick") wore during Kid Rock's performance at Woodstock in 1999. Though the term was frequently placed on the rapper due to his height, he actually suffered from celiac disease, a digestive disorder that placed him through the rigors of daily dialysis (for several hours each night) and a parade of medication.

A regular attendee at Kid Rock's Motor City performances, Joe C. joined Rock's entourage in 1994 after impressing Rock by reciting most of his lyrics. Joe C. played a small, but prominent role in Rock's breakthrough album, Devil Without a Cause, adding a memorable verse to the title track and appearing in Rock's video for "Cowboy," going mano y mano with fellow little fellow Gary Coleman. He also offered a take on "Kyle's Mom's a Big Bitch" to the soundtrack for South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut. Though he would take breaks from Rock's tours to take care of his health, Joe C. could be counted on to add his distinctive energy to some of Rock's higher profile performances including Woodstock, the 2000 Grammys and a World Wrestling Federation appearance.

"Family and friends are everything; without them, all of the fame and fortune means nothing," Kid Rock said in a statement. "We have lost a part of our family. Joey gave us and the world his love. He brought a smile to everyone who has ever known or seen him. In a world full of confusion, Joey made all of us laugh. He gave us the gift of joy. Joey, thank you. We will never forget you. We love you."

"Joe C. was an extraordinary inspiration," said Jason Flom, President of Lava Records, Rock's label. "He overcame tremendous adversity to become a great performer and a truly wonderful human being. Despite living with chronic pain, Joe C. never let his condition prevent him from living life to the fullest."

Rock intended to record an album by Joe C. for his Top Dog records, but there is no word yet on whether the two recorded sufficient material for a release.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com