He’s got that famous husky voice that can effortlessly belt out a rock number, or croon a smooth old classic. A music industry veteran, he is a legend in his own time.
Rod Stewart, or to give him his full title, Roderick David Stewart CBE, was born in London on the January 10 1945. Although English he is famous for proclaiming his Scottish ancestry, often displaying tartan clothes, and is passionate about his support for Celtic Football Club. He is also a supporter of Arsenal FC, and was a keen and talented football player. As well as football, the young Rod had a keen interest in railway modelling.
As a youngster Rod would listen to records by the late singer Al Jolson, and it was these classics that he would play and sing. Rod bought his records, watched his movies and read books about him. Al Jolson also influenced the style of Rod’s performance and his attitude towards his audience.
He first discovered rock and roll when he heard The Girl Can’t Help It, a 1956 hit for Little Richard. He then bought tickets to see Bill Haley & His Comets perform. In 1959, his father bought him his first guitar, and the following year Rod joined a skiffle group called the Kool Kats.
His first ambition was to be a professional footballer, but he finally decided that a musician’s life was a whole lot easier. He claims that the only two things that he can do is to play football and sing.
Rod came to public attention in the late 1960s singing with The Jeff Beck Group, and then in The Faces at the beginning of the 1970s. He released his first solo album, An Old Raincoat Won’t Ever let You Down. Since then he has sold over 100 million records and is one of the top male singers of popular music of all time, with fans clamouring for Rod Stewart tickets when they are on sale.
In the early years of the new century Rod released albums covering the great classic songs of George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, having great success with his four Great American Songbook albums. In 2004, he returned to rock and roll, teaming up with Old Faces band member Ronnie Wood to perform a number of the old hits.
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