Roderick David "Rod" Stewart, CBE (born 10 January 1945) is a Scots-English singer and songwriter born and raised in London, England and currently residing in Epping. He is of Scottish and English lineage.
With his distinctive raspy tenor voice, Stewart came to prominence in the late 1960s and early '70s with The Jeff Beck Group and then Faces. He launched his solo career in 1969 with his debut album An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down (US: The Rod Stewart Album). His work with The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces proved to be influential on the formation of the heavy metal and punk rock genres, respectively. Both bands were also pioneers of blues-rock.
With his career in its fifth decade, Stewart has achieved numerous solo hit singles worldwide, most notably in the UK, where he has garnered six consecutive number one albums and his tally of 62 hit singles include 31 that reached the top 10, six of which gained the number one position. He has also had 16 top ten singles in the USA, with four of these reaching number one. His most-known solo hit singles are "Maggie May", "You Wear It Well", "Sailing", "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)", "I Don't Want to Talk About It", "Hot Legs", "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?", "Downtown Train", "Some Guys Have All the Luck", "Young Turks", "This Old Heart of Mine", "Forever Young", "The First Cut is the Deepest", "Have I Told You Lately", "My Heart Can't Tell You No" and "Rhythm of My Heart." He was voted at #33 in the poll of "Q Magazine top 100 Greatest Singers of all time".
Roderick Stewart was born in Highgate, North London, the youngest of Robert and Elsie Stewart's five children. Robert was Scottish and had been a master builder in Leith outside of Edinburgh, while Elsie was English and had grown up in Upper Holloway in North London. Married in 1928, the couple had two sons and two daughters while living in Scotland, then they moved to Highgate. Rod came after an eight-year gap following his youngest sibling and was born at home during World War II, half an hour after a German V-2 rocket fell on the local Highgate police station.
The family was neither affluent nor poor, and by all accounts Rod was a spoiled child as the youngest. In his own recollection, Rod says "I had a fantastically happy childhood." Rod had an undistinguished record at Highgate Primary School and failed the eleven plus exam. He then attended the William Grimshaw Secondary Modern School in Hornsey. Robert retired from the building trade at age 65, then opened a newsagent's shop on the Archway Road when Rod was in his early teens; the family lived over the shop. Rod's primary home hobby was railway modelling.
The Stewart family was mostly focused on football; Robert had played on a local amateur side and managed some as well, while Rod was the most talented footballer in the family and was a strong supporter of Arsenal F.C. Combining natural athleticism with near-reckless aggression, Rod rose to become captain of the school football team and played for Middlesex Schoolboys as centre-half.
The family were also great fans of the singer Al Jolson and would sing and play his hits. Rod collected his records, read books about him, and was influenced by his performing style and attitude towards his audience. His father bought him a guitar in January 1959; the first song he learned was the folk tune "It Takes a Worried Man to Sing a Worried Song" and the first record he bought was Eddie Cochran's "C'mon Everybody". In 1960, he joined a skiffle group with schoolfriends called the Kool Kats, playing Lonnie Donegan and Chas McDevitt hits.
Stewart left school at age 15 and worked briefly as a silk screen printer. Spurred on by his father, his ambition was to become a professional footballer. In 1961 he joined on as an apprentice with Brentford F.C., a Third Division club at the time. However, he disliked the early morning travel to West London and the daily assignment to clean the first team's boots. His playing effectiveness at centre-half was hindered by his slight build ? 5 feet 11 inches (1.8 m) but 9 stone (130 lb; 57 kg) ? and he pushed himself so much that he sometimes vomited at the side of the pitch. After up to two months of play in pre-season fixtures, Stewart left the team, to the great disappointment of his father. Stewart later reflected that: "I had the skill but not the enthusiasm." Regarding possible career options, Stewart concluded, "Well, a musician's life is a lot easier and I can also get drunk and make music, and I can't do that and play football. I plumped for music ... They're the only two things I can do actually: play football and sing."
He worked in the family shop and as a newspaper delivery boy, then as a grave digger at Highgate Cemetery, partly to face a childhood fear of death. He worked in a North Finchley funeral parlour and as a fence erector and sign writer. In 1961 he went to Denmark Street and got a singing audition with legendary record producer Joe Meek, but Meek stopped the session cold with a rude sound. Stewart began listening to Woody Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, and especially Bob Dylan's debut album, and became attracted to beatnik attitudes and left-wing politics, living for a while in a beatnik houseboat at Shoreham-by-Sea. He became an active supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament at this time, joining the annual Aldermaston Marches in 1961 through 1963 and being arrested on three occasions when he took part in sit-ins at Trafalgar Square and Whitehall for the cause. His commitment was not total, however, as he also used the marches as a way to meet and bed girls. In 1962 he had his first serious relationship, with London art student Suzannah Boffey (and a friend of future model and actress Chrissie Shrimpton); he moved to a bed-sit in Muswell Hill to be near her. She became pregnant, but neither Rod nor his family wanted him to enter marriage; the baby girl was given for adoption and Rod and Suzannah's relationship ended.
In 1962, Stewart began hanging around folk singer Wizz Jones, busking at Leicester Square and other London spots. Stewart took up playing the then-fashionable harmonica, learning to play in part from watching Mick Jagger on stage. On several trips over the next 18 months Jones and Stewart took their act to Brighton and then to Paris, sleeping under bridges over the River Seine, and then finally to Barcelona. Finally this resulted in Stewart being rounded up and deported from Spain for vagrancy during 1963.
In the spring of 1962, Stewart joined The Ray Davies Quartet, later known as the successful British band The Kinks, as their lead singer. He had known three of their members at William Grimshaw School and at the time, Ray Davies was uncomfortable with the lead vocalist role. He performed with the group on at least one occasion, but was soon dropped due to complaints about his voice from then-drummer John Start's mother as well as musical and personality differences with the rest of the band. Stewart then briefly fronted his own group, Rod Stewart & The Moonrakers, who competed with Davies' band.
In 1963, Stewart adopted the Mod lifestyle and look, and began fashioning the spiky rooster hairstyle that would become his trademark. Disillusioned by rock and roll, he saw Otis Redding perform in concert and began listening to Sam Cooke records; he became fascinated by rhythm and blues and soul music and Cooke became his idol.
After returning to London he joined Jimmy Powell & the Five Dimensions in 1963 as a vocalist and harmonica player. Together they recorded a single for Pye Records. Long John Baldry discovered him drunk and busking for his train fare and invited him to join The Hoochie Coochie Men which recorded a single "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl", which failed to enter the charts. The Hoochie Coochie Men evolved into Steampacket featuring Stewart, Baldry, Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger, Mickey Waller and Rick Brown. Steampacket toured with the Rolling Stones and the Walker Brothers on tour in the summer of 1965. They also recorded tracks that weren't released as an album until 1970, after Stewart had become well known in musical circles. Stewart earned the nickname "Rod the Mod" during that period, as a result of his appearance in a 1965 BBC documentary on the mod subculture. Steampacket broke up in early 1966 with Stewart joining Shotgun Express as lead vocalist with Beryl Marsden. Amongst the members of Shotgun Express were Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green (who would go on to form Fleetwood Mac), and Peter Bardens. Shotgun Express released one single before disbanding. There is evidence of recordings of two Mike d'Abo songs 'Little Miss Understood' and 'So Much to Say, (So Little Time)' from The Immediate Singles Collection (1985; CCSCD 102), a compilation of Immediate Record's hits.
Stewart then joined the Jeff Beck Group as vocalist, where he first played with Ronnie Wood. In 1968 their first album Truth became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic and the group toured extensively. The second album Beck-Ola also was a hit in 1969 but the group members had parted ways by the end of the year. Much of Stewart's sense of phrasing was developed during his time with the Jeff Beck Group.
The US band Cactus was going to have Stewart in the line up that included Jeff Beck, Carmine Appice and Tim bogert (X vanilla Fudge) but Rod and Ronnie Wood decided instead to work with three former members of Small Faces, calling the new line-up Faces. Stewart also signed a solo recording contract with Mercury Records. An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down became his first solo album in 1969 (it was known as The Rod Stewart Album in the US). It established the template for his solo sound: a heartfelt mixture of folk, rock, and country blues, inclusive of a British working-class sensibility, with both original material ("Cindy's Lament" and the title song) and cover versions (Ewan MacColl's "Dirty Old Town" and Mike d'Abo's "Handbags and Gladrags").
Faces released their debut album First Step in early 1970 with a rock and roll style similar to the Rolling Stones that was a major departure from the psychedelic-tinged pop of Small Faces. While the album did better in the UK than in the US, the Faces quickly earned a strong live following. Stewart released his second album, Gasoline Alley that autumn (Elkie Brooks later achieved a hit with a version of the title track in 1983). Rod's approach was similar to his first album, as exemplified by the title track; and mandolin was introduced into the sound. He then launched a solo tour. Stewart sang guest vocals for the Australian group Python Lee Jackson on "In a Broken Dream", recorded in April 1969 but not released until 1970. His payment was a set of seat covers for his car. It was re-released in 1972 to become a worldwide hit.
Stewart's 1971 solo album Every Picture Tells a Story made him a household name when the B-side of his minor hit "Reason to Believe", "Maggie May", started receiving radio play. The album and the single hit number one in both the US and the UK simultaneously, a chart first, in September. A loss of innocence tale set off by a striking mandolin part (by Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne), "Maggie May" was also named in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, which is one of three songs by him to appear on that list. The rest of the album was equally strong, with "Mandolin Wind" again showcasing that instrument; "(I Know) I'm Losing You" adding hard-edged soul to the mix; and "Tomorrow Is a Long Time", a cover of a Bob Dylan song. But the ultimate manifestation of the early Stewart solo style was the Stewart-Wood-penned "Every Picture Tells a Story" itself: powered by Mick Waller's drumming and a mostly acoustic arrangement, it is a fast, rocking, headlong romp relating the picaresque adventures of the singer.
The second Faces album, Long Player, was released in early 1971 and enjoyed greater chart success than First Step. The Faces also got their only US Top 40 hit with "Stay With Me" from their third album A Nod Is as Good as a Wink...To a Blind Horse released in late 1971. This album reached the Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic on the back of the success of Every Picture Tells A Story. Throughout this period there was a marked dichotomy between Stewart's solo and group work, the former being meticulously crafted while the latter tended towards the boozy and sloppy. Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols regarded The Faces very highly and named them as a main influence on the British punk rock movement.
The Faces toured extensively in 1972 with growing tension in the band over Stewart's solo career enjoying more success than the band's. Stewart released Never a Dull Moment in the same year. Repeating the Every Picture formula for the most part, it reached number two on the US album charts and number one in the UK, and enjoyed further good notices from reviewers. "You Wear It Well" was a hit single that reached number 13 in the US and went to number one in the UK, while "Twisting the Night Away" made explicit Stewart's debt to Sam Cooke. For the body of his early solo work Stewart earned tremendous critical praise. Rolling Stone?s 1980 Illustrated History of Rock & Roll includes this in its Stewart entry:
Rarely has a singer had as full and unique a talent as Rod Stewart a writer who offered profound lyricism and fabulous self-deprecating humour, teller of tall tales and honest heartbreaker, he had an unmatched eye for the tiny details around which lives turn, shatter, and reform and a voice to make those details indelible. were defined by two special qualities: warmth, which was redemptive, and modesty, which was liberating. If ever any rocker chose the role of everyman and lived up to it, it was Rod Stewart.
The Faces released their final album Ooh La La which reached number one in the UK and number 21 in the US in 1973. The band toured Australasia, Japan, Europe and the UK in 1974 to support the album and the single "Pool Hall Richard".
In late 1974 Stewart released his Smiler album. In Britain, it reached number one, and the single "Farewell" number seven, but only number 13 on the Billboard pop album charts and the single "Mine for Me" only number 91 on the Billboard pop singles charts. It was his last original album for Mercury Records. After the release of the double album compilation The Best of Rod Stewart he switched to Warner Bros. Records and remained with them throughout the vast majority of his career.
In 1975 the Faces toured the US twice (with Ronnie Wood joining The Rolling Stones' US tour in between) before Stewart announced the Faces' break-up at the end of the year.
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In 1975, Rod Stewart moved to the US, applying for citizenship due to his love affair with Britt Ekland and a fight with the UK tax authorities. He released the Atlantic Crossing album for his new record company, using producer Tom Dowd and a different sound based on the Muscle Shoals rhythm section. Atlantic Crossing marked both a return to form and a return to the Top 10 of the Billboard album charts. The first single, a cover of the Sutherland Brothers song "Sailing", was a number one hit in the UK, but it only reached the Top 60 of the US charts. The single returned to the UK Top 10 a year later when used as the theme music for a BBC documentary series about HMS Ark Royal, and having been a hit twice over became, and remains, Stewart's biggest-selling single in the UK. Holland-Dozier-Holland cover "This Old Heart Of Mine" was also a Top 100 hit in 1976. Additionally in 1976 Stewart covered The Beatles' song "Get Back" for the ephemeral musical documentary All This and World War II.
Later in 1976, Stewart topped the Billboard singles charts for eight weeks and the Australian singles charts with the ballad "Tonight's the Night", with an accompanying music video featuring Ekland. It came from the A Night on the Town album, which went to number two on the Billboard album charts and was Stewart's first album to go platinum. By explicitly marking the album as having a "fast side" and a "slow side", Stewart continued the trend started by Atlantic Crossing. "The First Cut Is the Deepest", a cover of a Cat Stevens song, went Top 30 in the US in 1977 and number one in the UK. "The Killing of Georgie (Part 1 and 2)", about the murder of a gay man, was also a Top 40 hit for Stewart during 1977.
Foot Loose & Fancy Free Featured Rod's own band the original Rod Stewart Group that featured Carmine Appice ,Phil Chen,Jim Cregan,Billy Peek,Gary Grainger and John Jarvis, from 1977 continued Stewart's run of chart success, again reaching number two. "You're In My Heart" was the hit single, reaching number four in the US. The rocker "Hot Legs" achieved a lot of radio airplay as did the confessional "I Was Only Joking". In appearance, Stewart's look had evolved to include a glam element, including make-up and spandex clothes. Stewart scored another UK number one and US number one single with "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" which was a crossover hit reaching number five on the Billboard black charts due to its disco sound. This was the lead single from 1978's Blondes Have More Fun...or do they? which went to number one on the Billboard album charts and sold 4 million albums. It was to be Stewart's last number one album for 25 years.
A focal point of criticisms about this period was his biggest-selling 1978 disco hit "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?", which was atypical of his earlier output, and disparaged by critics. In interviews, Stewart, while admitting his accompanying look had become "tarty", has defended the lyrics by pointing out that the song is a third-person narrative slice-of-life portrayal, not unlike those in his earlier work, and that it is not about him. However, the song's refrain was identical to Brazilian Jorge Ben Jor's earlier "Taj Mahal" and a lawsuit ensued. Stewart donated his royalties from the song to UNICEF, and he performed it with his band at the Music for UNICEF Concert at the United Nations General Assembly in 1979.
Rod moved a bit to a more New Wave direction in 1980 by releasing the album Foolish Behaviour. The album produced one hit single in the song "Passion". In 1981, Stewart added further elements of New Wave and synth pop to his sound for the Tonight I'm Yours album. The title song reached #20 in the U.S., while "Young Turks" reached the Top 5 with the album going platinum. In August 1981, MTV was launched in the US with several of Stewart's videos in heavy rotation. On 18 December 1981, Stewart played the Los Angeles Forum, along with Kim Carnes and Tina Turner. This show was broadcast around the world to a television audience of 35 million.
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Rod Stewart, 2005
Stewart's career then went into a relative slump, and his albums between Tonight I'm Yours (1981) and Out of Order (1988) received harsh criticism from many critics. He only had four Top 10 singles between 1982 and 1988, "Young Turks" (#5,1982), "Some Guys Have All the Luck" (#10, 1984), "Infatuation" (#6, 1984) and "Love Touch" (#6, 1986), although "Baby Jane" became his sixth and final UK number one in 1983. It reached #14 in the US. The corresponding Camouflage album went gold in the UK, and the single "Infatuation" (which featured his old friend Jeff Beck on the guitar) received considerable play on MTV. The second single "Some Guys Have All The Luck" reached #15 in the UK and #10 in the US. A reunion with Jeff Beck produced a successful take on Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready", but an attempt to tour together fell apart after a few dates. He reached UK number two in 1986 with "Every Beat Of My Heart".
In January 1985, he performed at the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro before an estimated audience of over 100,000. His performance during a stormy night was described by Stewart himself as ?winning the world soccer championship?. In 1988, he returned with Out Of Order, produced by Duran Duran's Andy Taylor and by Bernard Edwards of Chic. "Lost in You," "Forever Young", "Crazy About Her", and "My Heart Can't Tell You No" from that album were all top 15 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and mainstream rock charts, with the latter even reaching the Top Five. "Forever Young" was an unconscious revision of Bob Dylan's song of the same name; the artists reached an agreement about sharing royalties. The song reached #12 in the U.S. The name of the child in the video is Alex Zuckerman.
In January 1989, Stewart set out on the South American leg of the Out of Order Tour playing to sell-out audiences throughout Americas. There were 80,000 people at his show at Corregidora Stadium, Queretaro, M?xico (9 April), and 50,000 at Jalisco Stadium, Guadalajara, Jalisco (April 12). In Buenos Aires, the audience at the River Plate Stadium, which seats 70,000+, was at over 90,000, with several thousand outside the stadium. Firehoses were sprayed on the crowd to avoid heat prostration.
Stewart's version of the Tom Waits song "Downtown Train" went to number three on the US singles charts in 1990. This song was taken from a four-CD compilation set called Storyteller - The Complete Anthology: 1964?1990. The Vagabond Heart album continued his comeback with "Rhythm of My Heart" reaching the Top Five and "The Motown Song" reaching the Top 10. Also in 1990 he recorded "It Takes Two" with Tina Turner which reached number five on the UK charts.
In 1991 Stewart contributed guest lead vocals to the song "My Town" by the Canadian band Glass Tiger.
In 1993, he recorded "All For Love" with Sting and Bryan Adams for the soundtrack to the movie The Three Musketeers; the single reached number one on the US charts. Also in 1993, Stewart reunited with Ronnie Wood to record an MTV Unplugged special that included "Handbags and Gladrags", "Cut Across Shorty", and four selections from Every Picture Tells A Story. The show also featured an acoustic version of Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately" which topped the Billboard adult contemporary chart and went Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. A rendition of "Reason to Believe" also garnered considerable airplay. The resulting Unplugged...and Seated album reached number two on the Billboard 200 album charts.
Stewart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. On 31 December on the same year he played in front on 3.5 million people on Copacabana beach in Rio.
By the early 1990s, Stewart had mostly abandoned creating his own material, saying that he was not a natural songwriter and that the tepid response to his recent efforts was not rewarding. In 1995, Stewart released A Spanner in the Works containing a single written by Tom Petty "Leave Virginia Alone" which reached the Top 10 of the adult contemporary charts. The latter half of the 1990s was not so commercially successful with the 1996 album If We Fall in Love Tonight not making much of an impression on the charts.
When We Were the New Boys, his final album on the Warner Bros. label released in 1998, contained versions of songs by Britpop acts such as Oasis and Primal Scream, and reached number two on the UK album charts. In 2000, Stewart decided to leave Warner Bros. and moved to Atlantic Records, another division of Warner Music Group. In 2001, he released his only album Human for Atlantic. Human only just reached the Top 50 in 2001 with the single "I Can't Deny It" going Top 40 in the UK and Top 20 in the adult contemporary.
Stewart then signed to Clive Davis' new J Records label. The Story So Far: The Very Best Of Rod Stewart, a greatest hits album compiled from his time at Warner Bros., went to the Top 10 in the UK and reached number one in places like Belgium and France in 2001.
Live in Zaragoza, Spain
By 2002, Stewart had sold over 100 million records during his career. Stewart then concentrated on singing 1930s and 1940s pop standards from the "Great American Songbook", written by songwriters such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and George and Ira Gershwin, with great popular success. These albums have been released on Clive Davis's J Records label and have seen Stewart enjoy album sales equal to the 1970s.
The first album from the songbook series, It Had to Be You: the Great American Songbook, reached number four on the US album chart, number eight in the UK and number ten in Canada when released in late 2002. The track "These Foolish Things" (which is actually a British, not American, song) reached number 13 on the Billboard adult contemporary charts and number two in Taiwan. "They Can't Take That Away From Me" went Top 20 on the world Internet charts and Top 30 on the adult contemporary charts.
The second series album, As Time Goes By: the Great American Songbook 2, reached number two in the US, number four in the UK and number one in Canada. "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", a duet with Cher, went Top 20 on the US adult contemporary charts and Top 5 in Taiwan. "Time After Time" was another Top 30 track on the US adult contemporary charts. A musical called Tonight's The Night, featuring many of Stewart's songs opened, 7 November 2003 at London's Victoria Palace Theatre. It is written and directed by Ben Elton, who previously created a similar production; We Will Rock You, with music by Queen.
In 2004, Stewart reunited with Ronnie Wood for concerts of Faces material. A Rod Stewart and the Faces best of Changing Faces reached the Top 20 of the UK album charts. Five Guys Walk into a Bar..., a Faces box set compilation, went into the shops. Stewart has also mentioned working with Wood on an album to be entitled You Strum, I'll Sing. In late 2004, Stardust: the Great American Songbook 3, the third album in Stewart's songbook series, was released. It was his first US number one album in 25 years, selling over 200,000 albums in its first week. It also debuted at number one in Canada, number three in the UK and Top 10 in Australia. His version of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World", featuring Stevie Wonder, made the Top 20 of the world adult charts. He also recorded a duet with Dolly Parton for the album - "Baby, It's Cold Outside". Stewart won his first ever Grammy Award for this album.
The year 2005 saw the release of the fourth and final songbook album, Thanks for the Memory: The Great American Songbook 4; it included duets with Diana Ross and Elton John. Within weeks of its release, the CD made it to number two on the Top 200 list. In late 2006, Stewart made his return to rock music and his new approach to country music with the release of Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of Our Time, a new album featuring rock and southern rock milestones from the last four decades, including a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Have You Ever Seen the Rain?" which was released as the first single. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard charts with 184,000 copies in its first week. The number one debut was helped by a concert in New York City that was on MSN Music and an appearance on Dancing with the Stars. He performed tracks from his new album Live from the Nokia Theater on 9 October. Control Room broadcast the event Live on MSN and in 117 movie theatres across the country via National CineMedia.
On 12 December, he performed for the first time at The Royal Variety Performance at The London Coliseum in front of HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, singing another Cat Stevens number, "Father and Son", and Glasgow singer/songwriter Frankie Miller's song It's a Heartache, made famous by Bonnie Tyler. On 22 December 2006 Stewart hosted the 8th Annual A Home for the Holidays special on CBS at 8:00 PM (PST). In 2007, Rod's son Sean starred in the A&E television show Sons of Hollywood, in which Rod's role as a parent is a major theme. Rod Stewart performed "Sailing" and "Baby Jane" plus "Maggie May" at the memorial concert for Princess Diana in the same year.
On 11 June 2008, Stewart announced that the Faces are discussing a reunion for at least one or two concerts..
On 20 May 2009, Stewart performed "Maggie May" on the grand finale of American Idol season 8.
On 2 July 2009 Stewart performed his only UK date this year at Home Park, Plymouth.
On 29 September 2009 a 4-CD, 65-track compilation entitled Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998 was released; it is comprised of previously-unreleased tracks and outtakes from the bulk of his career. Stewart has also mentioned plans for a compilation of covers of soul classics, the possible release of another edition of the Great American Songbook album and a country covers album..
In 1999, Stewart was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, for which he underwent surgery in July 2000. Besides being a major health scare, the resulting surgery also threatened his famous voice, and he had to re-learn how to sing. Since then he has been active in raising funds for The City of Hope Foundation charity to find cures for all forms of cancer, especially those affecting children.
Stewart has remained physically active in recent years, playing in a senior soccer league in Palos Verdes, California and still kicking balls into the audience during concerts. When discussing the rock 'n' roll excesses he has been through in his career, he maintains that his love of playing football has been his saviour. As a fan, he is a well-known supporter of Celtic F.C., which he mentions in his hit "You're in my Heart", and the Scotland national team. Rod is one of only two people to have a seat for life at Celtic Park, the other one being the comedian Billy Connolly. Stewart also follows Manchester United as his English side, and he explains his love affair with both Celtic and Man United in Frank Worall's book Celtic United. He explains the meaning behind the line " You're Celtic, United, but baby I've decided You're the best team I've ever seen." In appearance, Stewart still maintains his trademark rooster-style haircut.
Stewart is also a keen model railway enthusiast, having a 23 x 124-foot HO scale layout in his California home, modelled after the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroads during the 1940s, which has now made the pages of the December 2007 issue of Model Railroader Magazine. In the article he said that he would rather be in a model railroading magazine than a music magazine, and his passion for the hobby has been blamed for contributing to the end of his second marriage. He has a layout based on Britain's East Coast Main Line at his UK home, located in Essex on part of the Copped Hall estate.
A keen car enthusiast, particularly for Ferrari, he owns one of the 400 Enzo Ferrari. In 1982, Stewart was car-jacked in Los Angeles while he was standing next to his $50,000 Porsche, which was parked on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood., which was subsequently recovered.
On 11 October 2005, Stewart received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. (Star number 2093) On 18 April and 19 April 2006 Stewart was the guest artist and celebrity vocal coach on American Idol, leading the remaining seven finalists in singing entries from the Great American Songbook.
Throughout his career Stewart has been known for his liaisons with attractive women (fathering seven children with five of them; the oldest being born in 1964 and his latest child being born in November 2005):
1963-1964: Art student Susannah Boffey; one daughter Sarah Thubron Streeter (born 1964) who was put up for adoption
1971-1975: Model Dee Harrison
1975-1977: Actress Britt Ekland
First marriage (1979-1984): to Alana Hamilton (ex-wife of actor George Hamilton); one daughter Kimberly (born 21 August 1979) and one son Sean Stewart (featured on the reality shows Sons of Hollywood and Celebrity Rehab) (born September 1, 1980)
1983-1990: Model Kelly Emberg; one daughter Ruby Stewart (born 17 June 1987)
Second marriage (1990-2006): to model Rachel Hunter; one daughter Ren?e Stewart (born 1 June 1992) and one son Liam McAlister Stewart (born 4 September 1994). They separated in 1999 and eventually divorced in 2006.
Third marriage (2007-present): With his new wife, model Penny Lancaster-Stewart, he had his seventh child, a boy, Alastair Wallace Stewart, on 27 November 2005 in London. The couple married on 16 June 2007 on board the yacht Lady Ann Magee moored in the Italian port of Portofino.
In reference to his many relationships, Rod Stewart was once quoted as saying, "Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house."
Awards and recognition
Rod Stewart star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, February 2006
Awarded CBE in 2007 New Year's Honours.
Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, 2005, Stardust ... The Great American Songbook Volume III
Diamond Award of World Music Awards show for over 100 million records sold worldwide, 2001.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1994
Inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame, 2006
"Bar none, he's the best singer I've heard in rock 'n' roll. He's also the greatest white soul singer." ?Elton John on Rod Stewart
"Is this a white guy? You are kidding me!!" Chuck Berry commented when asked what he thought about Stewart's cover of Sweet Little Rock & Roller in an interview by the Belgian Rock magazine Humo in 1975.
Rod Stewart played to the largest concert crowd ever, with 3.5 million fans in attendance. This was at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro for the 1994 New Year?s Eve celebrations.
According to Stewart, soul legend James Brown called him music's "best white soul singer" in September 2006.
List of bands
During his career, Rod Stewart has been a member of a number of groups including:
Jimmy Powell and the Five Dimensions (1963)
The Hoochie Coochie Men (1964?1965)
Soul Agents (1965-1966)
Shotgun Express (1966)
The Jeff Beck Group (1966?1969)