Rod Stewart

  • British pop rock singer and songwriter born in 1945 in London England.
  • Stewart left school at the age of 15 and tried out for a professional soccer team, but he was not chosen to join the squad. In 1961, he got a singing audition but was rejected. The following year, he began to busk with English folk singer Wizz Jones, playing the harmonica. They traveled to Paris and Barcelona, living under bridges. After he was expelled from Spain, he returned to England and adopted a Mod look, spiking his hair. After attending an Otis Redding concert, he became fascinated with R&B music.
  • In October 1963, he joined an R&B group, the Dimensions, playing the harmonica and singing. A few weeks later, vocalist Jimmy Powell joined the group, and they became Jimmy Powell and the 5 Dimensions. With Powell taking over all vocals, Stewart left in 1964 and joined Long John Baldry and the All Stars. He was sometimes billed as Rod the Mod, and Baldry promoted Stewart to British music magazines. He made his recording debut with Baldry, and he also cut some solo demo tracks, earning a solo contract in 1964. His first solo single, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, failed to chart.
  • In 1965, Stewart joined a band called Steampacket, touring with the Rolling Stones, but no studio recordings were made by the group. After a year, they disbanded, and Stewart joined another group, Shotgun Express. One single was released, and after it failed, the group split up. In 1967, he got his break when he was recruited to join the Jeff Beck Group as lead singer and contributing songwriter. For two years he performed with the Jeff Beck Group, releasing two albums and touring. Here, he refined his raspy vocal style that became his signature. When the band broke up, he signed a new solo contract, and at the same time, he became the lead singer for a band named Small Faces, that soon became just Faces after some line-up changes.
  • Faces released four studio albums between 1970 and 1973. One – A Nod Is As Good As a Wink…To a Blind Horse – peaked at #6 in the US and #2 in the UK, with the single Stay With Me peaking at #17 on the Hot 100 chart. Stewart’s solo career took off during this time. His 1971 album Every Picture Tells a Story reached #1 in both the US and UK, and 1972’s Never a Dull Moment reached #2 and #1 respectively. He scored his first mega-hit with Maggie May, topping the chart in the US and the UK. Maggie May actually was the B-side to Reason to Believe, which made it to #62 on the Hot 100. You Wear It Well also was successful, topping the UK charts and peaking at #13 on the Hot 100.
  • After leaving Faces, Stewart had a run of platinum albums in the second half of the 70s and early 80s. He continued his blues-rock sound with the A Night On the Town album in 1976 and Foot Loose & Fancy Free in 1977. The former album included his second #1 hit on the Hot 100, Tonight’s the Night (Gonna Be Alright). The latter album included You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim), peaking at #4.
  • His 1978 album Blondes Have More Fun made his a disco star. The album was 3x platinum, driven by his #1 hit Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?. He continued throughout the 80s with six studio albums and 14 top 40 hits. Singles that made it to the top five included Passion, Young Turks, My Heart Can’t Tell You No and Downtown Train.
  • In 1991, he released the Vagabond Heart album. It charted in the top 10 in ten countries, including the US. It included top ten singles Rhythm of My Heart and The Motown Song, which featured the Temptations, giving the Temptations their final top ten hit and their first since 1973. In 1993, Stewart’s live and unplugged cover of Van Morrison’s Have I Told You Lately peaked at #5 on the Hot 100 and at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. That same year, along with Sting and Bryan Adams, he sang All For Love, a power ballad from the film The Three Musketeers. The song topped 15 different charts worldwide, including the Hot 100 chart – Stewart’s last #1 single.
  • During the 00s, Stewart focused on covers of classic American songs. He released five volumes, covering songs like It Had To Be You, As Time Goes By, Stardust, Thanks for the Memory and Fly Me To the Moon. They were highly successful – four of them were certified platinum, with nine singles charting on the Adult Contemporary chart. Most featured duets with guest vocalists, ranging from Cher to Stevie Wonder to Dolly Parton to Eric Clapton to Diana Ross.
  • Stewart had US top ten albums in every decade from the 70s to the 10s. His thirty-second studio album, 2021’s The Tears of Hercules, was top ten in the UK, giving him a top ten album in six decades in the UK. The single One More Time from the album reached #19 on the US Adult Contemporary chart, giving him US singles that charted in six decades. He won his only Grammy Award in 2005 for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Stardust…The Great American Songbook, Volume III. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 1994, and as a member of Faces in 2012. He performed over 30 concert tours, and has had a residency in Las Vegas that began in 2011 and continues today. In 2007 he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to music, and in 2016 he was given the title of Knight Bachelor for his services to music and charity.
  • Sir Rodney Stewart is still selling out 18,000 seat arenas, well into his 70s. There are no signs of slowing down. I’ll take the old school rocking Rodney over the disco Rodney. Here’s Stewart performing Maggie May, a true classic rock song.

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